Lam Dong Tea on Way of Development

2:57:31 PM | 25/11/2008

Central Highlands Lam Dong Province is a leading tea cultivation hub in Vietnam. Tea has been cultivated in the area for a long time. Tea has not only become a key plant in the area but also a famous brand in the country.
People said that, tea was firstly grown in Lam Dong in early 1927 by a French citizen whose name was Romoeville. Since then, tea has been cultivated widely in the province and especially in Cau Dat – Da Lat.
In 1954, there were 409 plantations in Upper Dong Nai. Most of them were tea and coffee plantations. Tea has adapted well in the province. 
From Cau Dat, tea has been grown in Bao Loc and Di Linh following wide emigration and development. Tea cultivation arrived at B’Lao Land from French plantations such as Felit B’Lao Plantation; B’Lao Sierreù Plantation…Wide tea cultivation has brought about appearance of tea farms, tea mountain fields, and tea gardens at households.
B’Lao is now still very famous for tea cultivation.  Vu Xuan Vinh – owner of Quoc Thai Tea Brand who has had a strong attachment to the tea industry for more than 45 years, said: “Each kind of B’Lao Tea has its own taste and is made with specific secret. Quoc Thai Tea and A Lam Tea is as sweet-smelling as jasmine, while Do Huu and Kim Anh are as sweet-smelling as Cholorantus; Notably Hong is as sweet-smelling as lotus. B’Lao has become a land of tea for years from tea plantations and farms. The land now is home to many famous tea brands including Tam Chau, Tram Anh, Rong Vang, Ngoc Trang … and notably Boc Loc has gained firm foothold in the local and foreign market.
In addition, spiritual and temporal urges tea makers to ensure quality from cultivation to processing. Quality will help makers win customers’ confidence. To produce a high-quality tea, tea makers have to carefully test tea samples with their sense, taste.
Building trademark for B'Lao Tea
Building trademark for B’lao Tea should be in line with tourism development. According to Vice Chairman of Lam Dong Provincial People’s Committee, Truong Van Thu, said tea is not only key export item of the province but also a diving force for tourism development. The province has planned to combine tea culture with tourism development. Eco-tourism in combination with tea culture will be first launched in Lam Dong. At present, Lam Dong is home to three leading tea shops in Southeast Asia. To further promote Lam Dong Tea worldwide, the VIETNAM TEA ASSOCIATION has joined hands with the provincial People’s Committee to hold a Tea Festival every two years to advertise the local tea.
Developing high-qualified tea gardens
Vietnam now boasts total tea cultivation area of 126,000 hectares. Lam Dong alone covers 26,000 hectares or 21 per cent of the country’s total. The province reports annual output of 150,000 tonnes of tea buds on average (accounts for 27 per cent). Ten years ago, in line with direction from the People’s Committee, the local tea industry built development plan for 1999 – 2008 period” with the aim at ensuring enough materials for tea processing plants for export. Thanks to the plan, the province has developed a stable and high-quality tea materials area.
Before 1999, Lam Dong only reported an average yield of four tonnes per hectare. The figure has reached ten tonnes per hectare currently. Some areas even report 18 tonnes per hectare. Old tea varieties have been replaced with new ones such as TB14, LD97,Tu Quy, Kim Tuyen,…Income gained from tea cultivation is also higher than that of other regions in the country. According to the Vietnam Tea Association, Lam Dong is the first locality in Vietnam where farmers earn VND200 million per hectare. Lam Dong is planning to develop a high-qualified tea material area of around 31,000 hectares. Some leading tea areas in Lam Dong are Bao Lam (1,694 hectares), Bao Loc (884 hectares), Di Linh (356 hectares) and Da Lat (196 hectares). To develop a high-qualified tea material area, the province must pay attention to breed quality.
According to Vice Head of Lam Dong Provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, the province has 32 tea varieties of all kinds. They are mostly high-quality varieties meeting standards for export. After ten years of implementation of the plan, the local tea industry has laid good foundation for stable development.
However, the sector has not made necessary breakthrough for stronger development in the future. To gain the set target, the People’s Committee has issued Decision No. 508 /QÑ on development of high-quality tea material area.

Huong Giang