“Son tra” trees benefit mountainous farmers

Farmers in the northern mountainous province of Son La are rushed off their feet these days as they harvest “son tra” (docynia indica) fruit. A key crop in the province for many years, the trees have helped improve livelihoods for these mountainous people.

The “Son tra” plantation of Mua A Su in Hang Cho village, Xim Vang commune has been crowded with traders in recent times. Su said his family has benefited a great deal from their 10-hectare “son tra” plantation.

The docynia indica tree, known in Vietnamese as “son tra” or “tao meo”, is a signature fruit in Son La province. It tastes both sweet and sour, and is a valuable component of medicines.

Many companies have visited to buy “son tra” fruit to make juice, wine, and jam. From a tree that only grew in the wild, “son tra” is now cultivated using proper techniques and has helped alleviate poverty among ethnic minority groups.

Bac Yen district is now home to 2,600 hectares of “son tra”, which yield some 1,900 tonnes per year. In recent years, Bac Yen district has carried out a wide range of measures to develop “son tra” areas. It has also worked with relevant authorities to improve the quality of “son tra” through crossbreeding, while zoning off land for the tree.

Efforts from both local authorities and people to develop the tree are expected to “bear fruit”, making contributions to reducing poverty further in the mountainous locality./.