Vietnam fails to meet cotton cultivation target
Oct. 8, 2012
Under the government's plan for the 2010-15 period, the country would have to plant a total of 20,000ha of new cotton.
However, for the 2010-11 period, only 790ha of new cotton were planted, according to a report in carried by Thoi Bao Kinh Te Viet Nam (Viet Nam Economic Times) newspaper.
In the first three-quarters of this year, the country planted only 200ha of new cotton, which did not meet even 10 per cent of the plan for the period.
Experts said that farmers were reluctant to grow cotton because of low profits. Cotton prices are between VND17,000 and 18,000 a kilo (US$0.8-0.85).
In addition, investment in intensive farming and equipment for cotton farming was still low.
The cotton output in the country meets only 2 per cent of the demand of the textile industry.
Experts said the Government should assign the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to set up detailed cotton-zoning plans in Tay Nguyen (the Central Highlands) and the northwestern and south-central regions, the country's largest cotton cultivation areas.
Phan Huu Ton, director of the Ha Noi University of Agriculture's Centre for Conservation and Development of Crop Genetic Resources, said the country's current cotton varieties had low yields and poor quality.
Cotton varieties planted in the north have a cultivation period of 145-160 days but have low resistance to green leafhoppers, and have a low yield of about 1.2 tonnes per hectare.
The Nha Ho Research Institute for Cotton and Agricultural Development in southern central Ninh Thuan Province has been conducting research on inter-cropping cotton and other short-term cash crops in major cotton-growing areas.
In the Tay Nguyen (Central Highlands) region, the intercropping of corn and cotton brought VND1.3-2.5 million more in profits per ha compared to fields planted only with cotton.
The profit was VND5.4-8.5 million higher per hectare compared to fields planted only with corn, according to the institute.
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