The southern province of Binh Phuoc aims to replant 25,000 hectares and conduct intensive cultivation on another 41,000 hectares of cashew by 2020 (Illustrative photo: VNA)

Binh Phuoc (VNA) – The southern province of Binh Phuoc aims to replant 25,000 hectares and conduct intensive cultivation on another 41,000 hectares of cashew by 2020.

During a working session with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), local leaders proposed the Government and the Ministry assist Binh Phuoc to realise its target.

The locality will need to invest 10 million VND (440 USD) to enhance the productivity of each hectare, and 20 million VND (880 USD) to replant each hectare of cashew trees, however, it faces financial difficulties.

Therefore, Binh Phuoc called for either non-interest loans or 3-10 year term loans for the work. It also suggested a project to train local farmers in sustainable production.

MARD Deputy Minister Le Quoc Doanh said the ministry will review the province’s proposals and develop long-term solutions to develop sustainable cashew material area.

Focus will also be put on building infrastructure, applying science-technology, production, replacing old plants, improving productivity and selecting varieties to ensure sustainable cashew development.

Doanh urged relevant bodies to propose a legal framework to support industrial crops’ development, and report to the Prime Minister for approval, with priority on cashew trees in Binh Phuoc province.

To improve productivity and product quality, the provincial People’s Committee instructed districts and townships to replace old and low-yield cashew planting areas with new varieties and use advanced science-technology in production.

Climate change adaptation measures will be applied in cashew production to minimise the impact of weather and diseases on productivity.

A favourable legal framework will also be developed to facilitate the sustainable and stable development of the cashew sector.

Large-scale cashew growing areas will be established in tandem with cashew production cooperatives, encouraging connection between farmers and investors.

The province wants international and local businesses to invest in the sector while fostering links to expand export markets, with a focus on processing to increase product value.

According to the Ministry, Vietnam has nearly 300,000 hectares of cashew plants, and each produced 704 kg on average in 2017, down 50 percent from 2016.

Research shows that old and low-yield cashew growing areas are increasing nationwide, particularly in key cashew production localities, including 50,000 hectares in Quang Tri, 10,800 hectares in Dong Nai, 2,000 hectares in Ba Ria- Vung Tau, 12,800 hectares in Binh Thuan, 3,700 hectares in Gia Lai and 700 hectares in Dak Nong.

Binh Phuoc alone has 134,170 hectares of cashew growing area, nearly half of the nation’s total coverage, producing 150,000 tonnes per year, and earning more than 500 million USD from exporting cashew nuts.

Cashew is a key industrial plant that helps the province realise its target of poverty reduction, particularly among ethnic minority groups.-VNA