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Vietnam to replace ageing coffee plants with new high yield varieties

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Lam Dong

HANOI, Vietnam – Vietnam will grow young coffee plants or other plants in its current old coffee-growing areas to raise yield.

The country currently has 86,000 hectares of coffee plants aged over 20 years, accounting for 13.8 percent of its total coffee-growing area, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on Friday.

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Due to the plants’ age, the yield is very low, below 2 tons per hectare.

Young coffee plants with higher yield or other crops will be grown to replace the old coffee plants in the next few years, but it is a big challenge because the shift needs huge capital, advanced growing techniques and well-organized cultivation, said the ministry’s officials.

Vietnam will pour 170 billion Vietnamese dong (7.5 million U.S. dollars) mainly into creating four varieties of high-quality coffee to strengthen coffee production and export in the 2018-2023 period, the ministry said.

Central highlands Lam Dong province, Vietnam’s Arabica coffee center, will increase its Arabica coffee-growing area, the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development said.

Lam Dong currently has 150,000 hectares of coffee plants, of which 15 percent are Arabica variety, and this rate will increase to 20-30 percent by 2020 to meet increasingly bigger demand from Vietnam and foreign countries such as the United States, Japan and South Korea.

Vietnam exported nearly 1.3 million tons of coffee worth roughly 2.9 billion U.S. dollars in the first 11 months of this year, witnessing a decrease of 22.5 percent and 3.8 percent respectively, said the ministry.

Vietnam is striving to gain coffee export turnovers of 6 billion U.S. dollars in 2030, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong said at a recent coffee promotion event in Lam Dong’s Da Lat city.