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August 10, 2022, 5:18 pm

Lessons from rubber, catfish and questions about macadamia

(10:26:55 AM 04/05/2015)
( - News about rubber and catfish supply and price decreases of products that have been recalled are lessons to be learned before starting a macadamia development program.

 Lessons from rubber, catfish and questions about macadamia


In February 2015, Him Lam JSC and LienViet Post Bank organized a workshop on the development of macadamia, called the “queen of nuts”, in Vietnam. 

Government agencies and experts are optimistic about the macadamia development plan, under which Vietnam would spend VND20 trillion in the next five years to grow the plants.

LienViet Post Bank’s chair Nguyen Duc Huong, while urging to implement the macadamia development plan, said that 1 million hectares of macadamia growing area would be just enough to satisfy the domestic demand. 

If the Central Highlands can develop one million hectares of macadamia, it would become the “macadamia metropolis” in South East Asia.

The strong determination made by Him Lam and LienViet Post Bank has evoked people’s memories about Hoang Anh Gia Lai’s rubber story. 

Five years ago, Hoang Anh Gia Lai Group, which was then well known as a real estate developer, suddenly decided to pour big money into rubber projects.

In 2011, when Hoang Anh Gia Lai’s chair – Doan Nguyen Duc – stated “I will grow rubber, even if I have to sell my house”, the rubber price in the world market was at its highest peak.

Duc then estimated that his 51,000 hectares of rubber would provide 127,500 tons of rubber latex every year, which would bring $382.5 million to Hoang Anh Gia Lai.

Many other tycoons also rushed to grow rubber. Gemadept, a shipping firm, decided to grow rubber in Cambodia, while Duc Long Gia Lai, Quoc Cuong Gia Lai, Phuoc Hoa Rubber Company and the Vietnam Rubber Corporation expanded rubber growing areas. Farmers in the provinces of Binh Phuoc, Quang Tri and Dak Lak, where there is red soil, rushed to chop down other crops to grow rubber.

However, rubber is no longer “white gold” as it was considered five years ago. The rubber price dropped dramatically from $5,000 per ton in 2008 to $1,500 a ton in early 2015.

Farmers now rush to fell rubber trees to develop other crops, while Hoang Anh Gia Lai also is not developing its rubber growing area.

Ten years ago, Vietnamese farmers rushed to farm catfish after they realized that catfish could “lay golden eggs”, and many catfish processing and export companies were set up, which provided 99 percent of the total catfish output worldwide.

However, the catfish price has been sliding since 2011, which has pushed farmers against the wall and pushed catfish exporters to bankruptcy. 

The “catfish rush” and “rubber rush” are now being followed by the “macadamia rush”.


Dat Viet

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