Seedless lime craze could leave sour taste for Vietnamese growers

Seedless lime in Vietnam

After being suffered for a long time of low prices, farmers in Long An province chopped down the sugarcane. In stead, they turned their eyes to seedless lime in hope of better harvests. However, the seedless lime craze might be getting out of control for local farmers.

According to a farmer, he transformed 02 hectares of sugarcane field into seedless lime garden last year. He is in the middle process of expanding by another hectare. “Thinking back and forth growing seedless lime is the only sensible thing to do. If I don’t grow fresh lime, what can I plant for survival?”, he said.

Harvesting twice a month, seedless lime yields a capacity of 20MT per year, the farmer said. He also signed an agreement with a company which would provide technical support and buy output at stable prices. However, the company just bought the first-class citrus. The remaining of seedless lime, he would sell at the very cheap prices.

In the district of Ben Luc, there are 5,000 hectares of lime trees, most of which are seedless trees. The seedless lime area has been quickly increasing due to better selling ability than sugarcane or pineapple.

The rush to grow seedless lime is spreading across Long An. Even it reached the furthest district of Thanh Hoa, which borders Cambodia. Thanh Hoa is the district, which is alkaline soil, making it extremely difficult to grow anything. Fortunately, the lime trees are adaptable to this unfavorable land.

However, the governor expressed concern relating to locality’s initial plan for lime trees of 6,000 hectares by 2020. It might lead to an excess supply of the fruit and hurt farmers in the long run.

It was glad that residents were living better off with growing fresh lime. The authorities did not encourage farmers to grow more lime trees.

“We have warned farmers of being careful and considerate not just to follow what others do. It’s very risky,” one official said. “I hope that it was not the sign of an excess supply. If that’s the case, many farmers might go bankrupt as they have borrowed so much to grow seedless lime,” he also added.