Bad harvests drive up pepper imports


VIETNAM, May 12 –

Farmers picking pepper in Cư Kuin district (Đắk Lắk province). Photo

HÀ NỘI — Poor harvests have hurt pepper production, leading to an almost 7% increase in pepper imports in the first four months.

Specifically, Việt Nam imported 12,105 tons of pepper during the period, including 10,456 tons of black pepper and 1,649 tons of white pepper.

Cambodia has become the largest pepper exporter to Việt Nam with 4,709 tons. Brazil comes next with 3,915 tons and Indonesia with 1,855 tons.

Indonesia was also the country’s largest supplier of white pepper with 1,493 tonnes.

According to the Việt Nam Pepper Association (VPA), the increase in pepper imports can be attributed to recent poor harvests, which caused the national pepper production to drop to 165,000-175,000 tonnes, 10-15% less than last year.

The contraction in production has left Vietnamese companies with no choice but to buy foreign peppers to fill the gap, which has led to an increase in pepper imports.

Lê Thị Ánh Tuyết, Deputy Director of the Provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of Bình Phước Province, pointed out that the unfavorable weather conditions, the old age of the pepper trees and the negligence of the farmers were the main causes of the bad harvests. .

“Years of falling prices have discouraged many pepper growers. These farmers have become careless in their crops which has resulted in low yield,” she said.

The deputy director also noted that several companies were buying peppers from farmers at above market prices to discourage them from switching to other trees.

Lương Thị Oanh, president of a cooperative in Đắk Lắc province, revealed that her cooperative only produced 30 to 40 tons of pepper this year due to early rains, much less than the figure of 100 tons last year. last year.

“Yields from our farms have dropped to a third of last year,” she said.

The chairwoman also pointed out that the low yields were not specific to her cooperative but could be observed in almost all farms in Cư Kuin district. In particular, many farms suffered production losses of up to 40%.

In February, a report prepared by VPA predicted that pepper production in the southeastern provinces and the central highlands, two key regions for pepper cultivation in Việt Nam, would drop significantly in 2022.

In particular, the provinces of Đồng Nai and Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu are expected to drop by 20 to 25% in pepper production. Nationally, the decline was estimated at 10%. —VNS


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