The warning was given at the "Coffee Outlook 2009" conference held yesterday in HCM City.

"I know, Vietnam has total coffee area of about 500,000 hectares and Vietnamese government does not plan to increase the new plantation area. Meanwhile, about 250,000 hectares of which stand at the age of 10-15 years (the period that coffee can bring in highest output), remaining 50 percent of area is aged 20 and needed to be re-cultivated in next 5-10 years ", Osorio said.

Doan Xuan Hoa-vice head of Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development's Agro-forestry Processing and Salt Industry Department said that in next years, Vietnam's coffee output for export could fall sharply. Now, the country exports average one million of coffee a year for total $2 billion.

According to Osorio, Vietnam currently supplies 17 percent of world's coffee demand or one million tonnes while Indonesia meets 14 percent or 823,000 tonnes. As predicted, Indonesia can surpass Vietnam in coffee export turnover.

Hoa stressed, due to disadvantages in harvesting and preserve technology, Vietnam's coffee quality reduced at least 10 percent in value. With the current export turnover of $2 billion, coffee growers lose at least $200 million or 3.6 trillion dong a year.

Saigon Economic Times - December 9, 2009