According to local pepper farmers, despite pricees dropping to about VND115,000 per kilogramme, almost half from the same period in 2016, pepper trees are still much more lucrative than coffee, cashew and rubber trees or other crops.
More households in the Central Highlands have replaced their coffee, cashew and rubber trees and crops with pepper in spite of local authorities’ warnings and poor conditions for growing pepper.
Dak Lak had nearly 600 hectares of pepper plant die in 2016 to being grown in unsuitable areas and the use of low-quality pepper varieties, causing huge losses for farmers.
According to the Central Highlands Steering Committee, the uncontrollable expansion of pepper coverage will increase the risk of spreading diseases and killing pepper crops while reducing supply of other products.
The region’s pepper coverage exceeds 71,000 hectares, including 14,400 hectares planted in 2016, much larger than limits set in government plans.
Dak Lak has the largest pepper coverage of more than 27,500 hectares, followed by Dak Nong with nearly 25,000 hectares, and Gia Lai with 15,697 hectares.