Sweet-potato growers in the Central Highlands are enjoying a windfall as prices have doubled from last year to VND15,000–20,000 ($0.61-0.82) per kilogram on higher demand and declining output.
Hoa, a farmer in Kon Tum who has three hectares of land, said last week he harvested 12 tons of Le Can sweet potato on one hectare, and, at VND18,000 per kilogram for type 1 quality and VND13,000 for type 2, made a profit of VND100 million.
“I have two hectares left to harvest in a month. If prices stay this high, the harvest this year will benefit my family greatly.”
Luong, who has been growing Japanese sweet potato for 10 years in Gia Lai, said though her yield was below expectations, she would still harvest 40 tons on her two hectares of land. Thanks to the higher prices, her profits this year might reach VND400 million.
Thanh Mai, a trader who buys Central Highlands sweet potatoes, said when prices were VND8,000–10,000, farmers either made losses or low profits, but this year prices have doubled.
They fetch farmers VND80–100 million profits per hectare, rising to VND100–200 million in the case of Japanese sweet potato, she said.
She said most growers in the Central Highlands are getting high prices of VND14,000-20,000 per kilogram. This year the sweet potato is also of higher quality, he added.
Traders said demand is higher in both the domestic and export markets, but supply is low since farmers are planting less than before.
General Secretary of the Vietnam Fruit and Vegetable Association Dang Phuc Nguyen, said China’s new quarantine requirement for Vietnamese sweet potatoes since late last year has driven up their prices.
The first batch of sweet potatoes was exported to China at the end of April.
According to its Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Gia Lai Province has around 5,000 ha under sweet potato.
Dak Lak has 10,000 ha. Its output is estimated at nearly 300,000 tons this year, with growing zones with area codes allotted accounting for 50,000 tons. Farmers have completed around 50% of the harvest.