Son tra fruits or assam apples have helped Mong ethnic people in Toa Tinh commune, Tuan Giao district, Dien Bien province escape poverty and earn a stable income. 

 

After planting assam apples in 1997, Ly Va Vu, a farmer in Toa Tinh commune soon realised their economic value and decided to expand the farming area into 2 hectares. Now his garden brings him 3000 – 3500 USD a year.

Toa Tinh commune is now home to 141 hectares of assam apples. 220 households have been planting the fruit. With average yield of 15 to 20 tonnes of fruit per hectare, the fruit has quite high economic value and growing it isn’t labour intensive.

However, there still remains the drawback that no processing projects have been carried out. Most of the fruit is bought by merchants, resulting in a vicious cycle of high yield, low price and vice versa.-VNA