Vietnam coffee farmers turn to avocados and durians as Ukraine war pushes up fertiliser costs

Coffee growers in top producer Vietnam are planting more profitable crops like avocados, black pepper and durians, which is helping them cope with the soaring fertiliser and fuel costs caused by the war in Ukraine.

Even with the extra income from these additional crops, farmers are still having to cut back investment in their coffee trees, which may lead to a 10 per cent drop in production next season from a year earlier, said Nguyen Nam Hai, the new chair of the Vietnam Coffee and Cocoa Association.

The country buys large amounts of fertiliser from Ukraine, Russia and Belarus, and farmers are not profiting much from market prices, even though they are higher than a year ago, because of the increased costs, he said in an interview.

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