16:48 | 19/10/2016 Society
(VEN) - The 2016-2017 coffee harvest is coming soon in the Central Highlands, but domestic coffee farmers are anxious about the worst ever harvest this year.
Many coffee plantations in the Central Highlands have faced a complete loss due to droughts
Coffee plants die in many areas
The most serious drought in the past two decades, which happened recently in the Central Highlands, has been the main reason leading to the failure of coffee crops. Water shortages have led to a sharp decline in coffee yields, by 30-70 percent. Thousands of hectares of coffee died.
Preliminary statistics show that 115,065ha of coffee plantations in the Central Highlands have suffered serious water shortages due to droughts. Most of these plantations are in Dak Lak Province with 56,138ha seriously lacking water and nearly 4,399ha facing a complete loss. In Dak Nong Province, 22,000ha have faced a lack of water, of which 4,977ha have faced a complete loss. The drought has also damaged coffee plantations in other provinces such as Gia Lai with 399ha, and Lam Dong with about 161ha.
Nguyen Thanh Tuan, a farmer in Chu KPo Commune, Krong Buk District, Dak Lak Province, has had to cut down coffee plants on 6,000sq.m, which have died due to serious water shortages, to grow other kinds of short-day crops.
Pham Van Than, another farmer in Ea Kiet Commune, Cu M’gar District, Dak Lak Province, said his family has 1.2ha of coffee plantations and the recent drought has destroyed coffee plants in about 30 percent of the area. Coffee yields on the remaining area would be down 40-50 percent from the previous crop due to a lack of water, he added.
Lower coffee output anticipated
Most of plantations where coffee died due to a serious lack of water are located on the tops of hills and mountains. The damage is not only 30-70 percent in coffee output of the 2016-2017 crop, but also a big amount of money that farmers have to pay for restoring damaged plantations.
Facing a decline in coffee yields and output, many farmers in the Central Highlands have chosen pepper to grow instead of coffee. This is another factor seriously affecting coffee output in the 2016-2017 and ensuing crops.
Coffee output of the 2016-2017 crop is predicted to be 20-25 percent lower compared with the 2015-2016 crop.