Vietnamese Farmers Shift to Durian Farming Over Coffee Production

Vietnam farmers shift to durian farming over coffee production due to the latter's cost and farming expenses.

Vietnamese farmers prefer durian farming over planting coffee due to the property boom and high costs, including fertilizers and the climate itself.

Durian Farming Over Coffee Production

It’s possible that Vietnam’s robusta coffee production will decline this year because farmers plan on growing durians. During the previous year, coffee harvest plummeted to over 7%. The robusta beans grown for the worldwide market are roasters and people want to find cheaper options due to high inflation.

“Actual output was lower than people had forecast. Growers invested less in their coffee farms because their eyes were fixed on growing durians and other profitable fruit,” said Phan Hung Anh, Quang Minh Coffee Trading’s chief executive exporter.

Moreover. Simexco Daklak’s general director, Le Duc Huy noted that the meagre harvest was due to a down year in the cycle’s crop production. The coffee shipper also adds the increase in fertilizer costs and the property boom last year withdrew some growers from farming.

Last month, local coffee prices surged to 53,000 dongs or $2.26/kilo, the highest since 2014. Farmers sold more than 85% of their crops and exports as the country exported 1.16 million tons of coffee in the first seven months of the season.

Vietnamese Durians Enter the Chinese Market

Coffee used to be a major source of income among Vietnamese farmers since the early 20th century. The industry developed and became a major economic force in the region. Vietnam is the second-biggest producer of coffee in the world following Brazil with Robusta coffee having 97% of the total production. However, Vietnamese coffee farmers always face cycles of property boom and bust, making the industry unpredictable since 1980.

Farmers shifted to more profitable fruits and turned to durian planting which now finds its way to the Chinese market. This spiky fruit has a pungent smell that most people find disgusting but has a heavenly taste. It usually grows in tropical regions, especially in Southeast Asian countries, including the Philippines, Malaysia, and Vietnam.

In 2021, Vietnam’s durian production surged to 642,600 metric tons, which is an increase of 15% over 2020. These vitamin-enriched fruits are usually harvested from April to the end of July and another harvest season occurs from October to March.

After years of negotiation, Vietnamese durians now have access to the Chinese market. China is Vietnam’s largest market for fresh durian and farmers are optimistic about a big possible market in the coming years.

Durians have many benefits to consumers aside from nutrients. Do you know that its peel or husks are made into antibacterial bandages? Scientists in Singapore extracts cellulose powder after slicing and dried-freezing the husks. They turn the mixture into a soft hydrogel with glycerol and cut them into bandage strips. The baker’s yeast compounds treat the strips filled with antibacterial properties.

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