Cau Ke District in Tra Vinh Province has received brand certifications for its three specialty products, Hoa Tan sap coconut, Tan Qui mangosteen and Tra Ot king orange, local authorities has said.
Ngo Thi Hong Nghi, head of the district’s Bureau of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the district has advantages in growing fruits and being the largest area under fruits in the province.
It has more than 9,100ha of orchards that yield around 150,000 tonnes of fruits annually, she said.
But they do not fetch high values since farmers do not use advanced farming techniques and have not built sustainable links with companies, she said.
Last year, the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development assisted the district’s farmers with growing clean produce, adapting to climate change, building brand names, and linking up with companies to ensure they can sell their produce.
This has helped the district develop fruit cultivation towards commercial production, improving yields, quality and efficiency.
It has established three co-operatives for growing fruits to Vietnamese good agricultural practices (VietGAP) standards.
They include sap coconut, green skin and pink flesh grapefruit, mango and rambutan.
Nguyen Van Su, chairman of the Hoa Tan Sap Coconut Co-operative in Hoa Tan Commune, said the co-operative has 53 members with 45ha of sap coconut, including 28ha of VietGAP quality.
Sap coconut grown using traditional methods could normally be harvested only five or six years after planting, but VietGAP quality ones could be harvested after four years, he said.
The variety has soft and thick pulp and is used mostly for desserts like coconut shakes and flesh mixed with milk, sugar and ice.
A mature sap coconut tree can produce 120-150 nuts a year, but only 40-50 per cent have the soft and thick pulp that qualify them as sap, and the remaining have normal pulp.
The variety grows only in Cau Ke District.
Thach Phu My, a member of the Hoa Tan Sap Coconut Co-operative, said members could earn VND10 million (US$430) a year from a mature tree.
Pham Minh Truyen, director of the department, said the province has zoned 20,000ha for specialty fruits this year.
Cau Ke has 4,000ha of fruits in combination with tourism, he said.
The Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta province plans to mobilise VND620 billion (US$26.8 million) from various sources to build infrastructure and facilities for developing fruit cultivation and consumption, according to the department.
It has a number of support policies to encourage companies produce high-quality fruit seedlings and buy and process fruits for export.
It targets average fruit production value of VND170 million ($7,350) per hectare per year, the department added. — VNS
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