Booming durian crop size worries Vietnamese authorities

By Thi Ha   October 27, 2023 | 04:14 am PT
Booming durian crop size worries Vietnamese authorities
Durians in the Central Highland. Photo by VnExpress/ Thi Ha
Vietnam’s durian growing area has been expanding on average 24.5% annually since 2010 to 131,000 hectares now, the fastest among its key crops, leaving authorities concerned about oversupply.

The central highland region has the biggest durian area at nearly 70,000 hectares, followed by the Mekong Delta, the southeastern, and the central coastal regions, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

There are over 28,600 hectares of durian in the central highland province of Dak Lak, and the figure will increase quickly 30,000 hectares in just a few years, said Vu Duc Con, deputy director of Dak Lak Agriculture and Rural Development.

The expansion rate is too fast and a cause of concern, he added.

Another central highland province, Lam Dong, has issued a warning to farmers about the unusually fast expansion rate.

Since 2021, it has surged nearly 44% to 19,700. Lam Dong’s durian production is now at 115,000 tons annually and is forecast to double to 225,000 tons by 2027.

In the Mekong Delta, many farmers have chopped down thousands of hectares of rice and jackfruit to grow durians, which urged the agriculture ministry to issue a warning about risks of an oversupply.

Nguyen Nhu Cuong, head of the ministry’s horticulture unit, said that when durians were grown in unsuitable areas they would produce low quality fruits, causing damage to farmers and to the Vietnamese durian brand.

Other issues in the durian farming industry are a lack of connection between farmers and traders, weak branding, unqualified workers, insufficient infrastructure, and unfair competition, the agriculture ministry said.

Authorities have asked farmers and businesses to not expand their durian crops on unsuitable land and not to replace their current crops with durian.

Vietnam was the fourth biggest durian exporter to China last year with a shipment of $420 million. In the first nine months this year it has climbed to the second place at $1.5 billion, behind only Thailand.

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