In 2013-2014, Pham Van Thuong in Tuy Duc district of Dak Nong province spent hundred of millions of dong to buy seedlings and grow 1,600 macadamia plants on an area of 6 hectares.
Thuong has said the initial results are below expectations.
In the last crop, Thuong harvested 300 kilograms and sold for VND20 million (VND75,000 per kilogram). This year, 40% of plants don’t give fruits.
“We have poured VDN600 million into the macadamia garden so far and now we are anxious to know the results,” he said.
Tuy Duc district is the biggest macadamia growing area of Dak Nong province. According to the district’s authorities, in 2010-2011, there were only five hectares of macadamia, but the figure has increased to 678 hectares.
Local farmers have harvested macadamia nuts in some gardens which are 5-6 years old with the total area of 115 hectares (17% of total growing area). The yield is 1-8 kilograms from each tree and unstable.
Two macadamia nut collection establishments have arisen in Tuy Duc district. Phu Nong, one of the establishments, has been processing the nuts and providing dried and canned products to the domestic market.
In Dak Lak, local farmers have been developing hundreds of hectares of macadamia plants, but very few gardens can bring economic efficiency. Even the 10 hectare garden of the Central Highlands Agro-forestry Science and Technology Institute also gives few fruits. The number of trees which give 4-5 kilograms of fruits is modest.
In Gia Lai province, farmers began growing macadamia in 2011. There are 400 hectares of macadamia in Kbang district alone. According to the Kbang’s agriculture sub-department, the results are satisfactory.
Kpa Chung, a farmer in Nghia An commune, said the plants have been developing well. However, he said the selling price had not been good in previous years, at VND60,000 per kilogram, lower than in Dak Lak.
According to Tran Vinh, deputy head of the Central Highlands Agro-forestry Science and Technology Institute, macadamia has been in Vietnam for 10 years only, not long enough to assess its efficiency. The State has planned the production of macadamia, but the plans only show general information.
What Vinh is most concerned about is the consumption of macadamia. He said many farmers call him to ask about markets.
Meanwhile, there is no big enterprise collecting macadamia nuts in large quantities to process products for export.