Farmers in Mekong delta chop down sugar-cane because of low price

Lately, sugar-cane farmers in the Mekong delta have chopped down sugar-cane trees because of low price.

Farmers in Mekong delta chop down sugar-cane because of low price

The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in Soc Trang Province’s Cu Lao Dung District yesterday said that local farmers have sold out sugar-cane in 3,000 hectare over 6,300 hectare. Sugar-cane consumption is very slow.
Overripe sugar-cane trees in gardens in An Thanh 1, 2, 3, An Thanh Dong and An Thanh Nam communes are seen.
Farmer Diep Van Tam in An Thanh 2 commune hopelessly said that I have toiled away in the farm for nearly one year; though prices of sugar-cane went down from VND700 a kilogram to VND500 a kilogram, no trader proposed buying. My family had to hire people to cut down the trees, transporting to the factory to sell; at last I suffered a loss of VND15 million ($658), he added.
Farmers moaned that they spent VND50-60 million a hectare but because of low price, they suffered losses of VND10-20 million per hectare.
Farmers in Tra Vinh province’s Tra Cu District where plant the tree in over 4,000 hectare. Though it is time for harvest, half of sugar-cane trees are sold. Sugar processing plants in the Mekong delta blamed low price of sugar for slow consumption.
Vice director of Can Tho Sugar Company Nguyen Hoang Ngoan said that prices of sugar dropped to VND11,600 a kilogram, lowest level at all time yet it is sold slowly. Sugar inventory increased gradually; accordingly, factories refused to buy sugar cane trees.
Other firms said that sugar price fell because of oversupply of smuggled Thailand sugar in the market.
Following these difficulties, farmers decided to switch to grow other trees or dig pond to breed aquatic animals; accordingly they cut down sugar-cane trees currently.

For instance, farmer Dang Quoc Huy in Cu Lao Dung District who has grown sugar-cane for years said that he chopped down all the tree to dig pond for raising shrimp.
Head of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in Cu Lao Dung District Ho Thanh Kiet said sugar-cane trees in 900 hectare had been cut away for breeding aquatic animals, orchards or vegetables.
The district had 8,000 hectare land for growing sugar-cane trees but just the land for growing the tree has shrunk around 5,000 hectare.

By NGUYEN THANH – Translated by UYEN PHUONG

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