The pepper harvesting season in Binh Phuoc which began after the Lunar New Year 2023 had a decline in both price and output. Meanwhile, the local labor force is not as scarce as in previous years, making many farmers unhappy.
FARMERS GOT DOUBLE DAMAGE
Currently, growers in Binh Phuoc province have just harvested the pepper crop 2023, but they have suffered double damages. According to farmers, the weather this year is unusual, causing many pepper-growing areas to reduce productivity. Pepper prices have fluctuated from the beginning of the season to now (March 14) about 55,000 – 66,000 VND/kg, down more than 20% over the same period.
Less pepper due to the influence of unseasonal rains.
Mr. Ly Thanh Tung in Loc Thuan commune (Loc Ninh district) has a 1.5 ha area of pepper but after harvesting, the output is just over 1.2 tons/ha, down nearly 50% compared to the previous year. Regarding the reason for the productivity decline, Mr. Tung said that unfavorable weather events this year had a significant impact on the growth and development of pepper plants during the flowering and bearing periods. Specifically, the unseasonal rains often occur in the period of flower sprout differentiation, so the rate of bearing is low and the yield decreases depending on the region.
Also in Loc Ninh district, Mrs. Nguyen Thi Thuy’s family in Loc Hiep commune has a large pepper growing area of about 4 ha. In recent years, despite the unstable price of pepper, Mrs. Thuy’s family still sticks to the “black gold” plant with the hope that the price will be better. According to Mrs. Thuy, the dried pepper output of her family’s garden is 5 to 6 tons.
However, this year’s weather caused the family’s garden to get lost. “The weather before Tet was colder than last year during the time of flowering, so the bearing period was affected. Last year, my family harvested over 5 tons, but this year it was just over 2.5 tons. Besides, the low purchasing price has made the family’s income less and it will be difficult to reinvest the next crop, “Mrs. Thuy added.
Mr.Nguyen Van Ha, Chairman of Loc Hiep Farmers’ Union, said that the production decline compared to previous years is partly due to the low price making farmers invest less. Besides, the climate changes have caused pepper production not be the same as in previous crops.
A farmer in Loc Ninh district is harvesting pepper.
According to farmers, in this year’s crop, most pepper growers got loss with different levels, ranging from 30-60% of production. This is due to the effects of weather changes. In addition, the price of pepper is maintained at a low level of less than 100,000 VND/kg for a long time, making growers lack reinvestment funds. So, they became bored and not taking care of pepper gardens much causing pepper production to sharply reduce.
Mr. Le Khac Phu, Chairman of Loc Ninh District Farmers’ Union, said that this year’s pepper crop in Loc Ninh district in particular as well as neighboring districts in general has decreased in productivity. It can be said that this year’s productivity has decreased by half compared to previous years. Annually, the average production in the area is over 2 tons/ha, but this year alone is only about 1.2 tons/ha./.