Macadamia has recently been planted in Central Highlands under a pilot program, and initial results showed that the tree can grow in certain ecosystems, especially those in cold climates.

Vietnam has planned to increase macadamia plantation area to 34,500 ha in 2030. Picture by Dang Tuan – Vietnam News Agency

According to Regular Central Highlands Steering Committee, there is currently 2,266 ha of macadamia plantation area in Central Highlands, accounting for more than 64% of total macadamia plantation area all over the country. The yields in 2016 were 246 tons, contributing nearly 91.5% to total national yields.

Macadamia plantation areas are located mostly in Lam Dong province which comprises of 44.04% of total area, Dak Nong province which accounts for 35.3%, followed by Dak Lak province…

Macadamia has recently been planted in Central Highlands under a pilot program, and initial results showed that the tree can grow in certain ecosystems, especially those in cold climates.

After 5 to 7 years of growing, macadamia reaches its maturity level and is therefore potential to grow in Central Highlands. 

However, also according to Regular Central Highlands Steering Committee, this is a new tree species so thorough appraisal needs to be made prior to massive plantation, especially in the breed selection, plantation zoning in order to attach plantation areas with processing and selling points to ensure effective production and reduce risks for farmers.

In practice, in certain areas like Krong Nang (Dak Lak province), Duc Trong, Don Duong, Lam Ha (Lam Dong province), farmers have grown macadamia in the coffee fields, which increased economic profits by generating more income for farmers while enhancing the ecosystem in coffee fields.

Mr Nguyen Dinh Thu and his family in Loc Xuan village, Phu Loc commune, Krong Nang district (Dak Lak province) has grown 100 macadamia trees, all of which have been commercially harvested for more than 3 years (over 10 year life span of the tree), earning hundreds of millions for his family every year.

In 2016 alone, Mr Thu’s macadamia orchard yielded 1.8 tons, the profit less expenses was VND300 million. Mr Thu excitedly stated that macadamia tree was easy to grow, required little attention and initial investment yet was much more profitable than coffee. 

Doctor Tran Vinh, Deputy Director of Western Highlands Agro-Forestry Scientific and Technical Institute warned that macadamia tree was a new species, hence more investigation needed to be carried out to learn about the soil, climate, growing techniques, breed etc. As such, farmers should avoid massive plantation which might incur many consequences. 

At the moment, Western Highlands Agro-Forestry Scientific and Technical Institute has 4 macadamia breeds including 246, 816, OC, 849 which have been certified by Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to be highly productive and pest and disease-resistant.

However, many farmers followed the hype regardless of competent authority’s warnings and aggressively expanded macadamia plantation in unsuitable land and climates, or even worse using breeds without trackable origins or bad quality breeds, resulting in fruitless trees or trees with very low yields.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s master plan to 2020, total macadamia plantation area in Central Highlands is 6,490 ha in which macadamia sole plantation is 550 ha and coffee or tea combined plantation is 5,940 ha; in the meantime 6 processing units will be built with capacity of 100 – 200 tons/year/unit.

The planned macadamia plantation is focused in Lam Dong and Dak Nong provinces.

29/03/2017
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