Macadamia development still lacks scientific basis: ministry

Tuesday, Apr 07, 2015 16:06

Experts warn that farmers should only grow macadamia in areas that are successfully tested. — Photo
HA NOI (Biz Hub) — The ministry of agriculture and rural development has said it has not approved the macadamia development plan yet because it still lacked scientific basis on the cultivation of this kind of tree in Viet Nam.

In a document sent to the People's Committees of localities recently, the ministry said macadamia was a new crop and the experimental cultivation of this kind of tree yielded different results.

It was also essential to carefully consider other issues such as processing and markets, the ministry warned.

It said localities should initially guide farmers to plant macadamia in areas where it has been cultivated successfully on a trial basis or in areas with similar conditions.

Farmers should not grow macadamia on a large scale in areas that have not been tested yet.

Localities are also required to tighten control over the quality of macadamia seedlings and the operation of establishments providing them, to ensure that only seedlings certified by authorised agencies are grown.

Earlier, several scientists also warned that more research was needed before macadamia could be cultivated successfully on a mass level.

Tran Vinh, deputy head of the Central Highlands Agriculture and Forestry Institute, has spent several years researching macadamia nuts. He said its trees could not be grown just anywhere. The tree requires very strict ecological conditions and a cool climate, including stable and low temperatures of between 18 and 25 degrees Celsius for several months during flowering and fruiting periods.

It was necessary to conduct thorough surveys on variety creation, cultivation techniques and several other things, he said, adding massive and unplanned development of macadamia farms would have serious consequences.

Viet Nam started planting macadamia nuts about 10 years ago, and is currently growing it in about 2,000ha, with an average output of three tonnes per hectare. Local scientists had tested and found that the north-western and Central Highlands regions offer conditions best suited for the plant.

The country expects to cultivate macadamia in 200,000ha in the Central Highlands and 30,000ha in the Northwest by 2025. — VNS

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