Vietnam to rapidly expand macadamia farms as demand rises

HANOI, Sept 24 (Reuters) - Vietnam is seeking to expand its macadamia farming area fivefold to 50,000 hectares (123,553 acres) over the next five years, aiming to make the nuts one of its key agriculture exports, the government said on Thursday.

Macadamia has only recently been grown on large scale in Vietnam, which is already the world’s biggest exporter of cashew nuts and one of its biggest producers of rice, coffee and pepper.

Annual macadamia revenue, mostly from exports, is expected to reach $500 million by 2025, the government said.

“Global macadamia demand now outpaces supply,” Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong said in a statement on the government’s website.

Vietnam’s farming area for the nuts will be raised to 100,000 hectares by 2030, mostly in the Central Highlands, with an annual revenue of $1 billion.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc will chair a conference next week to discuss measures to boost the macadamia farming, processing and exports. (Reporting by Khanh Vu; Editing by Martin Petty)