Proposal to grow Japanese garlic on Ly Son Island rejected

  • 02:42 - 2017/12/27

Authorities in Quang Ngai have turned down a proposal by Japanese firms to grow Japanese elephant garlic on the local island of Ly Son.

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Farmers water garlic in Ly Son Island

The move was followed Vietnamese scientists’ concerns that this may threaten the development of Ly Son’s own well-known garlic brand.

The Japan-based Nikken Sekkei Civil Engineering Ltd has proposed growing the Japanese elephant garlic on Ly Son Island in co-operation with CAN Holdings – a Japanese company specialising in hi-tech agriculture. They elephant garlic on Ly Son Island would be exported back to Japan where the plant attracts a price of around VND180,000 (USD8) per kilogramme.

The elephant garlic is a high-yield and high-value crop praised for its various health benefits, including antimicrobial properties. Up to 4.5 metric tonnes of elephant garlic can be harvested per hectare of farmland.

Japanese companies said that they will research the production of organic fertiliser for the elephant garlic which is expected to be planted in Quang Ngai from 2019.

Le Tien Dung, former head of Hue Agriculture and Forestry University’s Agronomy Faculty, was surprised when hearing the news that the local authorities had allowed an exotic garlic species which could be a rival to native garlic.

Ly Son garlic is a speciality in Vietnam and can only be grown on Ly Son due to specific natural conditions. Ly Son’s people selected the precious variety after many generations.

According to Dung, the local garlic is priced at VND2-3 million per kilo and needs to be protected for development.

“Ly Son garlic will lose its position because it cannot compete with the Japanese garlic which has higher yields. It is difficult to build a good brand, but it is also quite easy to lose it,” Dung warned.

The Japanese garlic could be grown in other localities, except Ly Son. If Ly Son garlic disappears, there’ll no longer be a unique product,” he said, adding that it was difficult to build a brand.

So, finally provincial authorities decided to allow Japanese companies to pilot the elephant garlic plantation in the two districts of Binh Son and Mo Duc only.

Source: VietNamNet

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