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Dak Nong: promoting sweet potatoes plantation

Posted Date:27-03-2014 | 14:22:15
Thanks to suitable soil and climate as well as having advantages of high productivity and valuable products, sweet potatoes has rapidly become key crop of Dak Nong Province.

(Japanese sweet potatoes in Dak Nong  - Photo: Trong Ngoc)

During the past years, local people have rapidly converted area for poor secondary crop into area for sweet potatoes with major part for Japanese sweet potatoes. Accordingly, area and production of the crop has ceaselessly increased. Particularly, in 2005, the area for sweet potatoes was 2,330 ha, production was some 21,670 tons, by 2012, the total area had been expanded to more than 7,120 ha, production was some 84,730 tons/year. The area with he largest sweet potatoes area is Dak Song with 4,220 ha, Tuy Duc district was the second with 2,330 ha, Dak Mil with 150ha, Dak G’Long with 150 ha…

Japanese sweet potatoes (Beniazuma), originating from Japan and delivered into Vietnam for testing plantation in 1999 in Lam Dong; by 2002, it was firstly planted in Dak Buk So Commune, Tuy Duc District, Dak Nong Province. This plant has short life time, from 105 to 120 days, productivity and quality are far better than local sweet potato. Dried content (27 – 33%), sugar, vitamin C are high and suitable for fresh use or starch processing for export.

Currently, with average productivity of 11 tons/ha, price of 6,000 dong/kg, farmers may collect 100 to 130 million dong/year (with 2 crops/year). This may be the basic to say that economic efficiency of sweet potatoes is high and contributes to transition of province’s crop structure. Especially, while this plant is suitable with farming qualification of local people, the economic efficiency that it brings is multiple times higher than rice and other secondary crops… this, accordingly has timely resolved the matter of shortage of foods, helped residents to eliminate hunger and reduce poverty and get rich.

Although the tree is determined as   "poverty reduction" plant for farmers, presently, there is no unit supplying qualified breed for farmers. People mainly propagate it by themselves for following crops and make use of old bodies of the plant for farming. Degeneration thus occurs and phenomenon such as twisted leaves, retracted tops, limited branching, vunerable status ... causing low conomic efficiency. Besides, because of high market demand of breed, there appears floating and unidentified breed at very high price.

In addition, distribution and consumption network  also encounter many disadvantages. Currently, nodes collecting and buying sweet potatoes in province’s area are private traders, there is no enterprise operating in this kind of business or processing in-place. Most of sweet potatoes production is collected and transported to HCMC or Lam Dong for consumption then exported to foreign markets such as Japan, Malaysia, Singapore...

In order to avoid unorganized plantation which consequently would cause abundant materials and shortage of output, Dak Nong is presently planning a zone for sweet potatoes materials production. Especially, by the end of last April, the province’s People’s Committee approved the Project of “Development of sweet potatoes value chain in province area in the period of 2012 – 2016” with total expenditure of nearly 2.9 billion dong, financed by the capital source of the Project “Sustainable economic development for ethnic minority people of Dak Nong Province (abbreviated as 3EM). In this year, Project 3EM is coordinating with localities to promote building of groups sharing the same interest of planting sweet potatoes to create connections, develop concentrated production area of large scale. Besides, the project will work with competent authorities to train and standardize technical procedures for sweet potatoes production under VietGap standard to households.

In order to improve quality, value of sweet potatoes products of Dak Nong, the province will roll out pure breeding garden in key regions to ensure quality breed source for farmers soon; trademark registration, branding; investments for building processing plants in key sweet potatoes production regions, in which priority will be given to calling for enterprises to invest and build sweet potatoes processing plant with capacity of 70,000 tons of finished products/year, an investment of 132 billion dong in Dak Song District to ensure stable output./.

Kim Len – Dak Nong Investment Promotion Center

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