The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has warned against the unchecked growth of durian trees in the Mekong Delta, Southeast, and Central Highlands regions
The call comes as durian prices hit an all-time high in recent months.
The Department of Crop Production cautioned that the continued expansion of durian cultivation areas, disregarding planning and guidelines, could result in an excessive surplus of the product.
According to the department, several farmers have already uprooted coffee and pepper trees, converted rice fields to durian orchards, and even planted durian trees in areas with unsuitable soil and ecological conditions. These practices could ultimately negatively impact the productivity and quality of Vietnamese durian.
In November 2022, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development issued a directive about sustainable durian and passion fruit production development. The Department of Crop Production said that it was necessary to change the thinking of farmers towards production following the planning.
Instead of increasing the area and output, the department said it was better to standardise the production process from cultivation and harvest to processing, transportation and distribution to develop brands and increase the added value. Policies would be raised to promote the linkage between farmers and enterprises to establish the durian value chain.
Vietnamese durian has been officially exported to the Chinese market since July 2022, which helped Vietnam earn US$421mn from durian export in 2022, up 137% against 2021. Since then, the price of durian has seen a sharp rise.
In early 2023, the price skyrocketed to set a historical record of around US$8.43 per kilo.
According to Trà My, head of the Provisional Vietnamese Business Association in China, the Chinese market was increasingly demanding in terms of product quality, adding that the focus must be placed on ensuring the quality of durian.