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Vietnam Issues Warnings Regarding Durian Overproduction

October 31, 2023

According to a recent report by online newspaper VnExpress, the durian cultivation area in Vietnam has expanded to 131,000 hectares, with an average annual growth rate of 24.5%, the highest among the country’s major crops. Despite a relatively late start in cultivation, the Central Highlands region has surged ahead to become the country’s largest durian planting area with almost 70,000 hectares, followed by the Mekong Delta, the southeastern region and the central coastal region.

Vu Duc Con, deputy director of the Dak Lak Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in the Central Highlands region, stated that the province’s durian cultivation area has now exceeded 28,600 hectares and is expected to quickly reach 30,000 hectares in the coming years. This remarkably swift expansion has sparked concerns over the sustainable development of Dak Lak’s durian industry.

Authorities in the adjacent province of Lam Dong have also issued a warning to farmers for the same reason. The province’s durian cultivation area has now reached approximately 19,700 hectares, representing an increase of over 6,000 hectares from 2021. Lam Dong is forecast to produce 115,000 metric tons of durians this year and be yielding 225,000 metric tons annually by 2027.

In the western parts of Vietnam, numerous hectares of rice fields and pineapple orchards have been replaced by durian orchards. With all of this rapid growth, the Vietnamese government has become apprehensive about a possible oversupply of durians. Nguyen Nhu Cuong, who leads the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s horticulture unit, cautioned farmers that the recent uncontrolled and large-scale expansion may result in unpredictable outcomes, including oversupply. Of additional concern is the potential impact of growing durians on unsuitable land, which could markedly diminish both fruit yield and quality, ultimately damaging the international reputation of Vietnamese durians.

Moreover, the ministry has highlighted further challenges within the durian sector, including weak links between farmers and traders, suboptimal branding, unqualified labor, insufficient infrastructure and unfair competition.

Vietnam secured official permission to export durians to China in July 2022. Exports rapidly took off, soaring to $1.5 billion in the first nine months of 2023. In early February of this year, the off-season for Vietnamese durians, farm gate prices surged to a historic high of 150,000–170,000 Vietnamese dong ($6.11–6.92) per kilogram. At present, depending on the variety and quality, farm gate prices of Vietnamese durians range from 50,000 to 95,000 dong ($2.04–3.87) per kilogram, which is still double the price of the same period last year.

Image: Pixabay

This article was based on a Chinese article. Read the original article.

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