Vietnam plants $490 million to grow "billion-dollar trees"

By Thanh Thanh Lan   June 10, 2016 | 08:17 am GMT+7

After realizing the potential economic benefits of the humble macadamia nut, Vietnam has decided to invest about VND11 trillion ($493 million) into cultivating the trees in the Central Highland province of Lam Dong.

It is estimated that the global demand for macadamia nuts is four times higher than total output due, offering Vietnam the opportunity to take advantage of this shortfall.

Him Lam Joint Stock Company recently signed an agreement with Lam Dong authorities to spend VND1 trillion ($45 million) to develop macadamia plantations and build processing plants. At the same time, Lienviet Post Bank promised to offer a credit package of VND10 trillion ($448 million) to help local farmers and processors access low-interest loans.

Chairman of Him Lam Duong Cong Minh, who is also chairman of the Vietnam Macadamia Association, has pledged to expand plantations to the northern mountainous provinces of Dien Bien and Son La.

Macadamia trees first entered Vietnam in 2000 and cover about 2,000 hectares now. Every hectare of macadamia can produce about three tons of nuts on average, bringing farmers about VND200 million ($9,000) per year.

The country has set a target of increasing the total area to 230,000 hectares by 2020, producing about 200,000 tons of nuts each year.

 
 
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