Vietnam black pepper history [The Unique Culture]

vietnam black pepper
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Vietnam black pepper history – The Unique Culture

Vietnam has been the top pepper producer and exporter for many years. Currently, no one in the world can compete for that ranking. However, do you know that Vietnam black pepper has an extraordinary history that you may not know? Let’s explore with me in just a few minutes by reading this post.

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Vietnam black pepper

Vietnam black pepper history

Vietnam black pepper history - Chu Se Pepper
Vietnam black pepper history – Chu Se Pepper

The beginning of Vietnam black pepper

In Vietnam, pepper was found just before the 16s century; but until the 17th century, the first pepper tree was planted.

By the end of the 19th century, pepper was grown extensively in Phu Quoc, Hon Chong and Ha Tien (Kien Giang). The growers were mainly Chinese people who originally lived in the island of Mac Cuu and migrated to Ha Tien.

During the same period, French pepper growers planted more peppers in Binh Long, Ba Ria – Vung Tau, Quang Tri, and Quang Nam.

In the early 20th century, the pepper plantations in Vietnam (mainly in Rach Gia) tended to decrease from nearly 932 thousand trees in 1910 to 346 thousand trees in 1928.

After that, the number of pepper trees rose up to nearly 544,000 in 1937 with the productivity average of nearly 1 kg per tree. The highest of that was 1.33 kg per tree in 1928.

In the 1940s -1970, pepper trees spread to many provinces in Central and South of Vietnam: Quang Tri, Quang Nam, Binh Phuoc, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Binh Duong and Dong Nai; with a total production area of about 400ha and the output was just under 600 tons a year.

After 1975, especially from 1983 to 1990, the pepper price in the world increased. Pepper cultivations were expanded throughout many areas in Vietnam; mainly in the South East and Central Highlands, approximately 9,200ha.

Pepper prices are also in the cycle of price changes as same as other agricultural products.

From 1991 to 1995, pepper prices fell sharply. The number of pepper production areas also decreased, ranging from 6,500-8,800ha.

In 1996, the leading pepper-manufacturing countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brazil had a poor crop due to drought as the result of El Nino; plus the financial crisis in South East Asia in 1997.

Therefore, exporting pepper price increased continuously from $ 2,000/ ton to $ 4,000/ ton in the mid-1997-1999, sometimes up to $ 6,000 / ton; creating favorable conditions for Vietnam in developing pepper production.

Vietnam black pepper plantations thrived

Since 1997, the area of producing pepper in Vietnam has increased continuously, from 9,800ha to 52,500ha (in 2004); which means more than five times growth compared with the previous years.

Pepper production increased the most in the Southeast of Vietnam to 5,893 ha in 1997; and 26,900 ha in 2004 (accounting for 51.3% of the total pepper area). Especially, Binh Phuoc had about 13,500 ha.

Pepper plants have developed in the Central Highlands after 1975; but in 2004 pepper production in this area exceeded 17,980 ha.

Dak Lak ranked second in 18 provinces producing pepper with more than 11,000 ha.

Pepper productivity was almost unchanged and there was a large difference in productivity between regions.

Average pepper productivity in 1997 was 2.08 tons/ha, and only 2.22 tons/ha in 2004.

Pepper productivity was highest in the South East (2.43 tons/ha); while the lowest was in the North Central Coast and Central Coast, with only about 1.17-1.32 ton / ha.

Especially the two provinces of Binh Phuoc and Ba Ria-Vung Tau had a total pepper production area of nearly 16,000 hectares with an average productivity of 2.5-2.6 tonnes/ha.

Pepper production in Vietnam increased rapidly due to the increase in harvested area; from 13,700 tons in 1997 to nearly 96,000 tons in 2004.

However, the pepper export turnover of Vietnam in the period 2000-2005 remained unchanged; fluctuated from 120-130 million USD per year, mainly due to the sharp drop in pepper prices since 2000.

Major producing pepper regions in Vietnam

black pepper producers in Vietnam - Chu Se pepper
black pepper producers in Vietnam – Chu Se pepper

Peppers were planted from Nghe An province to the south. Vietnam had a total of 18 provinces which had a pepper cultivation area of over 100 ha.

Peppers were also planted in other provinces with a total area of about 650 ha.

The two regions had the highest growing pace were the South East and the Central Highlands.

In the South East, the two provinces of Binh Phuoc and Ba Ria-Vung Tau had the total production area of pepper of about 21,000 ha.

The three provinces in the Central Highlands which had largest pepper production were Dak Lak, Gia Lai and Dak Nong. The province had the largest pepper area in North Central was the Quang Tri; and in the South Central Coast was Binh Thuan.

Pepper plants in Chu Se, Gia Lai, Vietnam
Pepper plants in Chu Se, Gia Lai, Vietnam

Facts about Vietnam Black Pepper Production

  • Vietnam Black Pepper Production in 2016 – 2017 is 185,000 Tons
  • Vietnam Black Pepper Production in 2015 – 2016 is 180,000 Tons

Want to know more about Black Pepper Trees click the link below:

If you have any questions about Vietnam Black Pepper History, please feel free to leave a comment; our pepper specialists will reply soon.

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