The specialty fruit Lai Thieu mangosteen in Binh Duong province is well-known for its flavour (Photo: VNA)
 
Binh Duong (VNS/VNA) - Local authorities in southern Binh Duong province’s Thuan An town are taking steps to promote the area’s famous Lai Thieu mangosteen, a fruit specialty cultivated since the 19th century.

Thuan An town’s Lai Thieu ward was the first area in the province to grow the fruit, which offered high profits for farmers, according to Tran Ngoc Phuong, chairwoman of the town’s Farmers Association.

However, since 2010, many mangosteen orchards have declined in yield, quality and area.

In Thuan An, areas devoted to mangosteen are mostly in Lai Thieu, An Thanh, Hung Dinh and Binh Nham wards.

In 2010-13, the Thuan An People’s Committee conducted a survey on creating a registered collective brandname for Lai Thieu mangosteen. In 2013, the National Office of Intellectual Property granted the specialty fruit a certificate as a collective brandname.

The Thuan An Town Farmers Association has the right to use the collective brand for its mangosteens.

After the brandname was granted, mangosteen orchard owners organised clubs and cooperatives and encouraged members to use the same planting techniques.

With these activities, the town’s mangosteen area expanded to 680 ha last year from 660ha in 2015.  

Tran Van Vien, director of the An Son Commune Agricultural Service Cooperative in Thuan An, said the commune accounts for 70 percent of the town’s mangosteen area.

Recently, the cooperative had to turn down an order from a supermarket for one tonne of mangosteens a day because supply could not meet demand.

Seven of the cooperative members use Vietnamese Good Agricultural Practice (VietGAP) standards.

Last year, An Son commune produced about 60 tonnes of mangosteen, which was just enough for the province’s market.

The Thuan An Town Farmers Association has set up a board to monitor the use of the Lai Thieu mangosteen collective brandname. It is also working with local agencies to draw up regulations for the association members to follow.   

To promote the brand, the association will deliver leaflets about the fruit during the annual ripe-fruit season festival, said Phuong, chairwoman of the Thuan An Town Farmers Association. This year, the festival is being held in Thuan An on June 16-22. 

Tran Van Dong, who owns a 1.6 orchard that plants Burmese grapes and mangosteen in Thuan An’s An Thanh ưard, said his orchard had yielded 20 percent more than last year.

This year he did not sell his fruit to traders, but sold directly to consumers to earn higher profits, he said. Mangosteens sold out quickly because of high demand.-VNS/VNA