Durian overfarming could prompt oversupply, ministry warns

By Dat Nguyen   February 24, 2023 | 06:00 am PT
Durian overfarming could prompt oversupply, ministry warns
A farmer holds durian fruits at a farm in Long An Province on February 24, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Hoang Nam
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has warned southern localities that a recent surge in durian farming could lead to an oversupply.

Farmers in the Mekong Delta, central highlands and other southern regions are destroying their coffee, pepper and rice crops to farm durian instead, the ministry’s Department of Crop Production said in a statement Thursday.

The reckless surge in durian farming could lead to an oversupply, the statement said, adding that growing durian on unsuitable soil could cause severe losses in yields and quality.

Local authorities must make plans to cope with the loss of rice land and need to publicize lists of areas suitable for growing durian, according to the statement.

The department also advised local authorities to help guide farmers through their transition to durian. Authorities should encourage farmers to cooperate and form complete supply chains, instead of each farmer only increasing their own farming area. This will ensure a higher added value to the final produce, the department said.

Durian in Vietnam is grown mostly in the southern and central highland provinces of Tien Giang, Ben Tre, Lam Dong and Gia Lai.

Durian prices have tripled since Vietnam began exporting the fresh fruit to China in July last year.

Durian exports rose nearly 137% last year compared to 2021, accounting for a total value of almost $421 million.

In Tien Giang, the amount of land used for durian farming has grown by a third to 20,000 hectares within the last few months alone.

Durian is expected to fetch $1 billion in exports this year to help Vietnam’s total produce exports surpass $4 billion.

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