The Department of Crop Production has warned farmers about possible risks when growing Thai jackfruits without planning.
In early 2019, farmers started growing a lot of Thai jackfruits after Chinese traders started buying the fruits at high prices. A kilo of Thai jackfruit was sold for VND35,000 (USD1.51) to VND45,000. Sometimes the prices went as high as VND50,000 to VND60,000.
However, the expansion of Thai jackfruit cultivation was done in a hurry and without a plan. The trees are planted in unsuitable soil which were used for plantations or rice fields.
Le Thanh Tung, deputy head of the Department of Crop Production, said Vietnam had 26,174 hectares of jackfruit last year which provided an output of 307,534 tonnes of fruits. Of which 38.6% of the farming area and 37.1% of the output were from the Mekong Delta.
Since early 2019, an additional 1,140 hectares have been used for growing jackfruit, most of the new cultivation areas are in Tien Giang, Hau Giang and Can Tho provinces.
According to Tung, since jackfruit is not considered the key export fruit in many provinces, there aren’t any investment or support policies. Farmers also do not have a detailed plan for intercropping or conversion from rice land. Spontaneous and scattering jackfruit cultivation means high risks during the monsoon season, especially when embankment systems are not complete.
Tung also raised concerns over diseases because there are many difficulties in providing and managing clean and quality seedlings.
“Because we depend hugely on border trade with Chinese traders so there will be market fluctuation and risks we can’t manage,” he said.