|Mr. Tran Quang Bao, Deputy Director of General Department of Forestry (MARD).|
On March 15, Deputy Prime Minister Le Van Thanh signed Decision No. 344/QD-TTg approving the “Project on sustainable development of Macadamia in the 2021 – 2030 period with a vision to 2050”. What does this mean for the development of macadamia in Vietnam, sir?
The development of macadamia in our country in recent years has obtained positive results, rapidly increasing in area and output, creating jobs and increasing income for producers.
However, due to the spontaneous development of macadamia in some places, growing according to the movement and not following a technical process, many areas have poor growth, low fruit yield, or no fruit.
On the other hand, macadamia processing is still simple, the product is not refined and the quality is not high; the consumption market has not been expanded; there is a lack of synchronization in mechanisms and policies to encourage and attract the participation of people and businesses to invest in developing macadamia.
Therefore, the project will orientate the goals and solutions for sustainable development of macadamia in the future in order to turn macadamia into one of the important and multi-purpose crops, increasing income for people and enterprises, contributing to economic and social development and environmental protection, political stability, social order and safety, especially in mountainous and border areas; making our country one of the leading countries in the world in growing, processing and exporting macadamia products.
Can you say more clearly about the current import-export situation of Vietnam’s macadamia nuts as well as the feasibility of the set target of about US$400 million in macadamia exports by 2030 and about US$2.5 billion in 2050 under the Scheme?
In the 2016 – 2020 period, the total import turnover of macadamia nuts from Vietnam reached US$136.8 million with a volume of nearly 5,400 tons of kernels and 25,500 tons of whole macadamia nuts.
Meanwhile, Vietnam’s total macadamia export turnover reached US$59.6 million with a volume of over 3,000 tons of kernels and 390 tons of whole macadamia nuts. Macadamia nuts from Vietnam have been exported to 21 countries and territories around the world, including Thailand, Germany, Malaysia, Hong Kong (China), the Netherlands, the United States.
The export targets set out in the Scheme are calculated based on the current and potential costs as well as the cultivated macadamia acreage, the planned macadamia acreage.
For example, in 2030 there will be about 70,000-80,000 ha of macadamia nuts at exploitation age with an output of about 3 tons of nuts/ha/year; after being put into processing, the price of macadamia nuts is about US$3/kg. With such preliminary estimates and the rigor of the whole system, the target of exporting macadamia of about US$400 million in 2030 and about US$2.5 billion in 2050 is set out.
Processing is one of the important factors to help improve the value of agricultural products and create sustainable development. How is this factor promoted in the process of realizing the contents of the project?
As of May 2021, the whole country currently has 65 facilities for preliminary processing and processing of macadamia nuts distributed unevenly, mainly concentrated in two provinces of Lam Dong and Dak Lak. Total raw material consumption capacity is 7,315 tons of seeds.
The scale of processing facilities is not the same, the capacity ranges from 10 tons/year to over 1,000 tons/year.
In terms of equipment and technology, machinery and equipment for preliminary processing are mainly simple such as dryers to dehumidify, dry seeds, stamp seeds.
However, some enterprises have invested in current technology. Macadamia milk products such as TH Truemilk Joint Stock Company, Nutifood Company. In terms of products, seeds are mainly dried and a number of products are concocted such as macadamia nut milk, macadamia nutrition powder, macadamia coffee, cooking oil, and shampoo, etc.
To process and consume macadamia products by 2030, in terms of processing, economic sectors will be encouraged to invest in building macadamia preliminaries and processing facilities associated with raw material growing areas in the Northwest and Highlands; upgrade 65 existing pre-processing and processing establishments, build about 300-400 new pre-processing and processing establishments, each with a capacity of 100-200 tons of nuts/year.
In addition, businesses will also be facilitated to invest in building about eight deep processing factories for high-value macadamia products; each with a capacity of 10,000 – 15,000 tons of fresh nuts/year in different locations with favorable conditions.
The close connection between businesses and people is one of the important factors promoting the sustainable development of macadamia trees. What solutions should the State take to strengthen this connection in the future?
Up to now, people and businesses have formed many models of linking macadamia production chains from planting, processing to product consumption with enterprises as the core.
However, this association still exists only at the level of cooperation between businesses and people without the intervention of specific policies of the State to ensure that macadamia growers are not forced to lose profit.
To overcome the situation, the State needs to have policies to encourage enterprises associating with macadamia farmers through bridges of cooperatives and cooperative groups to build concentrated macadamia-growing areas, forming a chain of macadamia products from planting to processing and consuming products; synchronously implement solutions to support the development of cooperatives and cooperative groups for macadamia production in both width and depth; paying special attention to improving the quality of operations and strengthening the capacity of cooperatives.
For households, it is necessary to link with businesses through cooperatives and cooperative groups to build concentrated macadamia plantations, establish area codes for traceability and product consumption.