High areca prices bring good income for Quang Ngai farmers

The price of areca catechu purchased by traders is from VND45,000 to VND48,000 per kg in Quang Ngai Province. Areca catechu trees have brought a good source of income for local people.
High areca prices bring good income for Quang Ngai farmers ảnh 1 Areca catechu trees have brought a good source of income for farmers in Son Tay District in Quang Ngai. (Photo: SGGP)
According to statistics from the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of Son Tay District in Quang Ngai Province, areca catechu price is from VND45,000 to VND48,000 per kg, which is relatively high compared to the average prices of the previous years. The areca tree has actually brought a good income for local people. Hundreds of households have an annual income of VND100 million a year or more. Some households even earn from VND500 million to more than VND1 billion a year.

Son Tay District is known as the land of thousands of areca catechu trees, with an area of more than 1,022 hectares. Some communes have a large area of areca catechu trees, such as Son Dung Commune with 324.98 hectares, Son Long Commune with 146.52 hectares, and Son Tan Commune with 150.31 hectares. The areca tree is a traditional crop of the Ca Dong people. In Son Tay District, most households grow areca catechu trees. Among these, more than 600 households grow more than 1,000 areca catechu trees.

Besides the volume of fresh areca, directly supplied for domestic consumption, most of the areca is purchased and processed for export. Since 2016, the areca export market has been expanded to many countries, such as China, India, and South Korea, so areca price is always stable and tends to increase. In 2021, the areca price rocketed to VND60,000 per kg.

In the district, there are 16 areca processing factories, with a total design capacity of about 8,000 tons per crop. Most processing facilities said that fresh areca supplied by Son Tay District can only meet about 65 percent capacity. After drying, areca is classified, packed, exported to agents, or exported directly to China, India, and Taiwan. These processing facilities have provided seasonal jobs for about 120 workers, with an income of VND7-10 million per month.

Son Tay District identifies areca as a traditional crop, which is suitable for local people's farming practices and gives high income, helping people escape poverty. Son Tay District has had the policy to build a stable growing area of areca trees. From 2019 to 2020, the district supported 508 households to plant new areca trees on 300 hectares.

In the coming time, Son Tay District will continue to support the expansion of the areca area in places with suitable land conditions, gradually replacing the acacia area, and striving to form a raw material area of about 2,000 ha of areca for export by 2025. Simultaneously, it will develop the growing area code and product brand, promoting investment in post-harvest processing.

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