Provinces urged to expand avocado farming
HCM CITY — Provincial authorities in the Central Highlands should encourage farmers to grow avocado around the year, the Western Highlands Agriculture and Forestry Science Institute has said.
According to the Ñaék Noâng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, the province has 2,583ha of land under the fruit, and production has surged from 4,253 tonnes last year to 11,164 tonnes this year.
The fruit is mostly consumed fresh, with 80 per cent sold in the local market.
Ñaék Laék Province has 4,308ha under avocado, with the fruit not only sold in the local market but also exported to Cambodia, Thailand, China, the Netherlands, and France.
Under a project to restructure the province’s agriculture, the area under avocado cultivation will be reduced to 4,000ha with advanced farming technology used on 1,000ha by 2020, rising to 6,000ha and 3,000ha in a decade.
Figures from the Laâm Ñoàng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development show the province has 3,773ha under avocado cultivation.
It also has 35 seedling farms which can produce 323,500 avocado saplings a year, according to the Western Highlands Agriculture and Forestry Science Institute (WASI).
According to the WASI, avocado can only grow in certain areas with suitable soil conditions such as Mexico, Indonesia, Central America, and the Central Highlands of Vieät Nam.
This means Vietnamese avocado growers have an opportunity to expand their markets.
However, in Vieät Nam farmers have a habit of harvesting the fruits before they ripen and sell them through traders, which causes their prices to be volatile.
WASI said the export of avocado had also been difficult because of the lack of close ties between production, preservation and processing, and the slow adoption of processing technologies.
Relevant authorities in avocado growing areas should seek to add value to the fruits by encouraging the use of advanced technologies to process them into oil, flour, cream, and cosmetics, it said.
It also called on them to introduce avocado varieties with high yields that fruit around the year.
Provinces with soil suitable for avocado should establish specific zones which can produce various kinds of avocado for the local market and for exports, it said.
Advanced farming technologies should be used to produce high-quality fruits, it added. — VNS
Harvesting avocado in the Central Highlands province of Ñaék Noâng. — VNS File Photo