The Hanoi Crop Development Centre recently reviewed the pilot model for the intensive cultivation of late-ripening longan in Dai Thanh Commune, Hoai Duc District. The economic efficiency of the model is reported as six to seven times higher than rice cultivation and also the highest among fruits. The Vietnam Economic News Online reports.

High economic efficiency

The centre reported that in 2013, it carried out the model and thanks to the technologies involved in the project, productivity reached 30 tonnes per hectare, resulting in a total output of 1,200 tonnes, three times that of last year and valued at 42 billion VND (2.1 million USD), accounting for 40 percent of the commune’s income.

Nguyen Van Thanh, a local resident, said his family has a 120 year-old late-ripening longan tree, respected and acknowledged throughout the area which has been preserved for breeding purposes. At present, his 0.7ha longan farm has 120 15-year-old longan trees which produce 13-15 tonnes per year, earning an average income of 350-400 million VND (18-20,000 USD) per year.

Many other families in Dai Thanh Commune also grow late-ripening longans as well as provide millions of grafts and seeds to other provinces like Hung Yen, Hoa Binh, Hai Duong, Ha Nam, Vinh Phuc and Bac Ninh, another large source of revenue.

Discussing the project, Chairman of Dai Thanh Commune People's Committee Nguyen Huy Anh said 90 percent of households (1,596 families) are involved in this business with average per capita income up from 11.7 million VND in 2011 to an estimated 14 million VND in 2013.

Expanding market opportunities

Anh added that with stable selling prices, averaging 30,000-35,000 VND (around 1.5 USD) per kg and a later harvest than other producers, growers do not have to worry about market saturation. To stabilize production and expand markets, Dai Thanh Commune assigned the local Agriculture Cooperative to support households in registering their output and contacting potential buyers.

In 2013, the Hanoi Crop Development Centre under Hanoi’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development coordinated with local agencies to develop two brand names - "Dai Thanh Late-ripening Longan" and "Hoai Duc Late-ripening Longan" - and granted VietGAP certificates for 70ha, a production equivalent of 1,500 tonnes. In 2014, the centre will register the product under geographical indication.

Director of the Hanoi Crop Development Centre Nguyen Ba Suong said the city needs to adopt incentives, policies, and mechanisms to expand cultivation areas. It also needs to boost cooperation between farmers, scientists, managers and enterprises to ensure stable output markets for the fruit, essential in developing and maintaining the trademark’s reputation.-VNA