Trong Duc Cocoa Co., Ltd in southern Dong Nai province plans to work with local farmers on developing a 1,000-ha specialised area for farming cacao alternating with cashew trees in the locality, so as to meet its growing demand of raw materials for processing.

According to the company’s director Dang Truong Khanh, his firm will ink agreements with agricultural cooperatives in the districts of Dinh Quan, Tan Phu, Thong Nhat and Xuan Loc to provide local farmer with equipment and technologies for processing cacao and cashew fruits.

The company will then purchase the partly processed fruit at a higher price than the market price.

Apart from the major products of cocoa powder, wine and chocolate, the company intends to produce several other products such as juice from fresh cacao and cashew fruit in the future, Khanh stated.

According to Khanh, his firm has an increasing demand of raw materials for production, with an estimated volume of about 3,600 tonnes per year, while existing cacao area in Dong Nai can supply only 625 tonnes.

To ensure the quality of materials for processing, the enterprise has encouraged local farmers to cultivate the crops in line with the globally-recognised UTZ quality control programme, which stands for fostering sustainable farming and bettering opportunities for farmers.

As many as 79 cacao growing households in Dong Nai have received their certification from the programme so far.

The cacao plantation area in Vietnam has increased to 22,000 ha from 9,000 ha in 2007, providing 5,000 tonnes of dried beans in 2013. The country plans to have 50,000 ha under cacao cultivation and produce about 100,000 tonnes of fermented beans by 2020.-VNA