Located in the north of Truong Sa (Spratley) Archipelago, in Khanh Hoa province, Nam Yet island is called the “Coconut island”. From afar, the island is like a blue silk strait with ranges of coconut trees. Reported by Radio the Voice of Vietnam (VOV).

With a width of about 200m and a length of 600m, Nam Yet island is oval-shaped. Trees typical of Truong Sa archipelago are planted on Nam Yet island but coconuts are the most numerous.

Colonel Phan Van Dich, who has worked on the island for nearly 30 years, says that the soil on Nam Yet is good for growing coconut trees.

"When we arrived on the island, coconut trees were already there. The elders told us that those coconut trees came from the mainland. They are becoming more numerous as Nam Yet now grows seedlings to plant on other islands of the archipelago,” VOV quoted Dich as saying.

It is difficult to count the number of coconut trees growing on the island but it is certain that the care given to these plants is an art that takes time and work.

Colonel Nguyen Van Tam, Political Commissar of Group 1 on the island, says that Nam Yet is paying closer attention to growing coconuts. Dry and stunted coconuts will be nursed and when they are 30 cm high, will be transplanted to a garden. Coconuts here are planted at two times: in the spring and whenever soldiers leave the island, because they want to plant a coconut tree as a souvenir.

Coconut trees are resistant to the harsh climate on the island. They produce fruit throughout the year and particularly during the dry season. A tree can provide two to four clusters coconuts.

Products made from coconut trees are popular on the island. The leaves are used to cover vegetable gardens and animal shelters. Dried coconuts are used to scoop water. Some skilled soldiers even embed shells to make nice gifts for their family and friends.

Colonel Tran Dinh Hoa, Political Commissar on Nam Yet island, said: “We take good care of the coconut trees because they provide water and food for our soldiers. Coconuts make the island green and they are strong enough to withstand the harsh conditions on the island. Coconut trees are a symbol of Vietnam, representing Vietnam’s national sovereignty”.

Coconut trees stand majestically to protect the island from waves like the soldiers who spare no effort to defend national sovereignty.-VNA