A seminar was held in Central Highlands Lam Dong province’s Da Lat city on February 7 to introduce a roadmap for the implementation of a macadamia cultivation project in the Central Highlands region.

It is organised by the Lam Dong People's Committee, the Central Economics Committee and the Central Highlands Steering Committee.

According to the project, the Lien Viet Post Joint Stock Commercial Bank (LienVietPostBank) will lend the Him Lam Joint Stock Company over 20,000 billion VND (over 930 million USD) for planting macadamia for five years.

This is the first project aimed at large-scale cultivation of the macadamia nut in Vietnam.

The Him Lam Company will supply farmers with seeds, fertiliser, and plant protection products and will teach them proper planting techniques.

The money will also be invested during the first phase of the project for macadamia cultivation on 100,000 hectares of land by 2020.

Another 18,600 billion VND (865 million USD) is expected to be invested during the project's second phase to expand the area for cultivating the plant to 200,000ha between 2020 and 2024.

Nguyen Duc Huong, Vice President of the LienVietPostBank, who proposed that the Central Highlands Steering Committee organise the seminar, says Vietnam has all the conditions required for the strong cultivation of macadamia.

"We wish to lend to farmers for growing this kind of tree. The farmers can collect the capital and earn profit in the seventh year as per our expectation," Huong tells the VnEconomy.

The macadamia nut is dubbed as the "Queen of Nuts" for its outstanding nutritional value and high concentration of mono-unsaturated fats.

The plant, indigenous to Australia, was introduced to Vietnam in 2002 for trial cultivation in some central provinces, including Lam Dong, Dak Nong and Dak Lak. After more than a decade under trial cultivation, it was found that Vietnam produced a higher yield of macadamias than other countries.

Local scientists have tested and found that the north-western and Central Highlands regions have conditions best suited for the plant's growth.

By September 2014, the plant covered 1,600ha in the Central Highlands region.

The project aims to turn the plant into a key industrial plant in the Central Highlands region, which can provide a stable source of income for the farmers and turn the region into a "macadamia kingdom" in Southeast Asia.-VNA