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Coffee farmers suffer poor crop, low price



Coffee farmers in the Central Highlands of Vietnam are entering the harvest season anxiously as the prices of coffee are still kept at a low level, whereas the production costs are increasing.

Many localities have considered choosing a new production model to increase coffee yield.

Coffee farmers suffer poor crop, low price
Coffee yields of many coffee plantations in Buon Ma Thuot City decrease by about 30 percent. Photo: SGGP

Growers earn no profits

Currently, coffee in the Central Highlands provinces has started to ripen, and farmers are rushing to harvest coffee. Due to unfavorable weather, coffee yield in some regions has dropped heavily. Meanwhile, the prices of coffee this year are too low. Concentrating on collecting the last coffee trees in his farm, Mr. Pham Tien, a farmer in Quang Tien Commune in Cu M’gar District in Dak Lak Province, said that his family had nearly one hectare of land and had grown coffee since 1998 to now. Although he had invested and taken care of his coffee trees carefully, his coffee plantation had not achieved coffee yields as high as expected in recent years. In previous years, he collected 3 tons of coffee beans. However, he could only get nearly 2 tons this year. The coffee output could not make up for the investment cost and his effort for the whole year.

Sharing the same situation, Mr. Nguyen Hoang Vu, a farmer in Hoa Thang Commune in Buon Ma Thuot City of Dak Lak Province, said that his family had 1.5 hectares of coffee. This year, coffee production decreased by nearly 30 percent, so he could only collect less than 3 tons of coffee beans. On average, the annual cost for irrigation, fertilizers, and labor was VND50 million-VND60 million per hectare. Of these, labor costs and fertilizers increased each year, but coffee prices continued to nail at extremely low levels, causing farmers to earn no profits or even not have enough money to make long-term reinvestment in this crop.

In Lam Dong Province, a large area of coffee trees have been replanted and grafted to increase productivity in recent years. However, the prices of coffee have stood at low levels for many years, so many people no longer consider it as the priority crop. Mr. Nguyen Van Hoang, a farmer in Phuc Tho Commune in Lam Ha District in Lam Dong Province, had just harvested 1.7 hectares of coffee, with a yield of about 6 tons of fresh coffee. In comparison with previous years, the above output has improved significantly, thanks to the area of grafted coffee trees. However, joy was mixed with concern as just after the coffee was harvested, the fertilizer seller came to buy coffee for VND33,000 per kilogram. After deducting the fertilizer cost, there was not much left. Mr. Hoang said that the heaviest investment was four times of fertilization that cost about VND90 million, and the cost to hire workers to harvest coffee at the end of the crop at VND25 million. If he also hired workers to take care of his coffee trees and remove weeds, even selling all the harvested coffee would have not been able to compensate for the production cost. To overcome this difficult period, Mr. Hoang has switched to grow vegetables on 4,000 square meters. However, efficiency is not high, just enough for him to cover his daily expenses.

Promoting support for coffee replanting

According to Ms. Vu Thi Thanh Binh, Deputy Head of Department of Crop Production and Plant Protection of Dak Lak Province, the coffee area in the whole province is about 203,000 hectares, with the estimated coffee yield in the crop 2019-2020 at 465,000 tons. However, due to the large area of old coffee trees, unfavorable weather, and prolonged drought, coffee output has decreased more sharply than expected.

“Currently, organic coffee products are favored in the market. In the province, many deep-processing enterprises have already cooperated with farmers to buy organic coffee at higher prices than the market ones. This direction also helps farmers to reduce labor costs,” Ms. Binh added.

In recent years, Lam Dong Province has been a bright spot in implementing coffee replanting, which has partly eased the pressure caused by low prices. Mr. Nguyen Van Chau, Deputy Director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that by grafting and replanting more than 73,180 hectares of coffee trees, the average coffee yield of the province has risen from 26.1 quintals per hectare in 2012 to 32.5 quintals per hectare now. It has somewhat compensated for the gap caused by low prices. The whole province currently has 174,142 hectares of coffee trees, with an output of 516,602 tons.

“In recent years, the province has encouraged farmers in the areas with water scarcity and sloping land to switch to grow other crops, but still ensured the coffee area according to the annual cultivation plan. In the long term, the province will continue to support people to intercrop fruit trees, such as avocado, durian, macadamia, and mangosteen, to increase income and at the same time develop shade trees to support the growth of coffee trees,” Mr. Chau analyzed.  SGGP 

The agricultural sector of Dak Lak Province recommends farmers to replant and replace the areas of old coffee trees with new coffee varieties, with a higher yield and better resistance to drought, pests, and diseases. Besides, people should change the old-school thinking of growing coffee by organic farming to meet quality standards.

Doan Kien



Pork price not expected to spike during Lunar New Year



A consumer buys meat at a Hapro supermarket in Hà Nội. — VNA/ Photo Phương Anh

HÀ NỘI —Demand for pork rises in the run up to Lunar New Year (Tết), prices are expected to increase, but not rise to the levels seen last year.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said out of 5.37 million tonnes of meat consumed during this period last year, 3.8 million tonnes were pork.

Pig production remains healthy, and across 16 provinces the reproduction rate has topped 100 per cent, with more than 27 million animals available.

However, Nguyễn Văn Trọng, deputy director of the Livestock Breeding General Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said prices would rise as demand grows.

Currently, live pigs are priced at VNĐ83,000-85,000 (US$3.5) per kilo but Trọng said although prices would rise, they would not reach levels seen last year.

He also said there would not be any expected shortages of the meat, but they were stepping up measures to preventing illegal exports to China. 

According to the Department of Animal Health, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the country imported nearly 226,000 tonnes of pork last year, a year-on-year increase of 260 per cent.

The main import markets are from Russia, Poland, Brazil, Canada, the US, Germany and Spain.

This year, 600 tonnes of pork have been imported to supplement supplies for the Tết market.

More than half a million pigs were imported from Thailand for slaughter from mid-June last year to January 13 this year. —


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HCM City, southern provinces step up efforts against fake goods, contraband as Tết approaches



Smuggling and trade fraud are on the rise ahead of Tết, which falls on February 12. —VNA/ Photo.

HCM CITY – Officers tasked with preventing fake goods, trade fraud and smuggling in HCM City and southern border provinces have been forced to work hard ahead of Tết (Lunar New Year), which falls on February 12 this year.

Last week the HCM City customs department discovered 14 steel containers that consignee V.V Steel Company described wrongly to evade tax.

The company, in Long An Province’s Đức Hòa District, made a declaration that would have allowed it to enjoy 0 per cent tax instead of the 10-15 per cent it had to pay, equivalent to VNĐ1 billion (US$43,000).

Now, besides the tax it will also have to pay a penalty of 20 per cent of the amount.

Smuggling and trade fraud are becoming increasingly sophisticated.

Trương Văn Ba, director of the HCM City Market Surveillance Department, said last year 25,538 violations had been discovered involving loss of tax revenues of VNĐ5.8 trillion.

Competent agencies filed charges in 113  cases.

According to Steering Committee 389 of HCM City, inspections had been reduced due to the Covid-19 pandemic but specifically target warehouses, yards and sites where large volumes of smuggled goods are likely to be concealed, improving the efficiency of prevention efforts.

According to the city police, local militia have been urged to look out for dubious activities and crack down on the trade in prohibited, smuggled and counterfeit goods.

Drugs, weapons, illegal firecrackers, unsafe and violent toys, and cigarettes are in the sights of officials.

The city border guard force, the Southern Border Guard Soldiers’ Department of Drug and Crime Prevention, naval squadron No 28 under the Việt Nam Border Defence Force, and border forces in Bà Rịa – Vũng Tàu and Tiền Giang provinces will look out for possible violations at estuaries, sea ports and sea borders .

The city is also calling on businesses and consumers to join hands in the fight against smuggling and trade fraud.

Cross-border smuggling

Border authorities in the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta provinces of An Giang, Kiên Giang and Đồng Tháp are stepping up efforts to keep out smuggled goods, which usually increases during the year-end period.

The contraband is mostly cigarettes and sugar brought in through the Châu Đốc City border in An Giang Province.

Smugglers transport the goods from Cambodia in boats, motorbikes and trucks at night to evade officers, but if spotted are not averse to attacking them.

Kiên Giang Province’s Hà Tiên City also sees smuggling of goods from across the border, usually late at night.

Smugglers travel in groups and transport large quantities of contraband, mainly foreign-made cigarettes.

Authorities have discovered hundreds of cases of smuggling and confiscated tens of thousands of packs of cigarettes and other goods.

Fishing boats are used to illegally transport and sell oil and petrol at sea.

Hundreds of thousands of litres of oil of unknown origin have been seized by local agencies, who have also collected billions of đồng in fines.

The An Giang Province steering committee for anti-smuggling, trade fraud and fake goods said troops were patrolling border gates, trails and crossings to prevent smuggling. –



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Ensuring information security for cloud computing a key national goal



Cloud computing will be the main orientation of the country to focus on in the coming time. — Photo

HÀ NỘI — The Ministry of Information and Communications has determined that the cloud computing platform is a key part of telecommunications infrastructure to focus on in the coming years.

The ministry has also defined cloud computing as the digital infrastructure for the development of a digital government, digital economy and digital society.

“This is one of the main orientations of the country to focus on in the coming time,” said Nguyễn Khắc Lịch, deputy director of the Authority of Information Security, Ministry of Information and Communications, to local technology website

It is forecast that the cloud computing market in Việt Nam will reach US$500 million by 2025 with a growth rate of about 30-40 per cent.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a “push” to promote the development of the cloud computing market and the growth rate of the market hit 40 per cent last year.

Cloud computing is a relatively large “pie” for businesses to compete for and as for the nation, with the importance of new generation telecommunications infrastructure, digital infrastructure, and the ‘Make-in-Việt Nam’ policy, domestic businesses must master this infrastructure.

Lịch said that to develop Vietnamese cloud computing platforms in the right direction, Việt Nam was one of the few countries that have issued a set of technical criteria to evaluate and choose a cloud computing solution for e-government.

The set of technical criteria consists of 153 standards, including 84 technical criteria and 69 information security criteria.

“A cloud computing platform that meets these benchmarks is considered to be a modern and secure platform,” said Lịch.

Lê Hoài Nam, deputy director of Viettel IDC, said with cloud computing services, the market has grown quite rapidly in recent years.

As for Viettel, the growth rate was twice compared to normal from 60 to 80 per cent.

However, Nam said that the story of information security for cloud computing was not only important for Việt Nam but also the world.

This field in Việt Nam was still new, so people were still worried.

However, in addition to financial investment, there was a need for a system of technical staff because the technology was changing and all certificates required by customers are constantly updated. With large service providers such as VNPT and Viettel, the sustainability of service delivery infrastructure will be ensured, he added.

Tống Mạnh Cường, product manager of VNPT IT, said there were two issues, which were whether users paid to use safe services or not and the trust factor.

Enterprises believe that to stimulate demand for cloud computing services, the Government should have activities to promote digital transformation.

The Government, ministries and agencies besides enterprises, should boost non-business public units like the departments of information and communications to deploy public cloud technology.


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