Farmers in the Mekong Delta region, the country’s largest fruit cultivation area, aim to increase the total area for local fruit specialties to over 80,000 ha by the end of 2014.

The provinces of Tien Giang, Ben Tre, Dong Thap, Vinh Long, Tra Vinh, Soc Trang and Hau Giang, along with Can Tho city, plan to develop an additional 10,000 ha of high quality Nam Roi grapefruit, Hoa Loc mangoes, Chin Hoa durians, Lo Ren star apples, thick-skinned oranges and dragon fruit.

Local farmers are being encouraged to work in groups or cooperatives to ensure uniform quality and increase the competitiveness of local fruits in international markets.

They are also provided with farming techniques to create safe and disease-resistant products in line with Vietnam Good Agricultural Practice (VietGAP) and GlobalGAP standards.

With the current fruit cultivation area of over 60,000 ha, the Delta produces around 360,000 tonnes of fruits a year.

It exported over 160,000 tonnes of specialty fruits to the US, Japan, China and the Republic of Korea in 2013.-VNA