Illustrative image (Source: VNA)
 
HCM City (VNA) - Tien Giang province, the Mekong Delta’s largest fruit producer, has increased its fruit cultivation area to nearly 75,000ha this year, up three percent against the same period last year.

Farmers have planted 1,300ha of new dragon fruit, 1,200ha of pineapple and 400ha of new green-peel and pink-flesh grapefruit this year.  

Under its agricultural structuring plan, the province has encouraged farmers to turn farmland unsuited to growing rice into fruit orchards.   

Cao Van Hoa, Director of the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the province had set up concentrated fruit planting areas to produce specialty fruits for domestic and export markets.

Specialty exports include Lo Ren Vinh Kim milk apple in Chau Thanh district, Ngu Hiep durian in Cai Lay district, and citrus fruits in flood-prone districts.

The province has also established a 7,000 concentrated durian planting area in Cai Lay district, the largest durian planting area in the Mekong Delta.

The milk apples, which are exported to the US, offer high profits for farmers.

Advanced farming techniques, especially for off-season fruits, and good quality seeds have helped farmers increase profits by 300 million – 500 million VND (13,200 – 22,000 USD) per ha of specialty fruit a year. Some farmers can earn a profit of up to 1 billion VND (44,000 USD) per ha a year.

Huynh Van Kem, who plants 7,000sq.m of two specialty durian varieties - Ri6 and Mong Thong - in Cai Lay district, said he harvests an average of 20 tonnes of durian a year and earns a profit of 1 billion VND.

Durian yields high profits, but farmers must choose good seedlings, use advanced farming techniques and produce off-season fruits, according to Kem.

Le Van Can in Cho Gao district said he earns a profit of 100 million VND a year from planting 4,000sq.m of dragon fruit.

This profit is four times higher than from rice, he said, adding that he planted rice on his farmland.

Concentrated fruit planting trees have helped farmers increase their income, according to the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The province has also started production chains for durian, Hoa Loc mango and dragon fruit cultivation to 2020.

The development of new fruit orchards has increased the demand for fruit seedlings.

Ut Phuong, a fruit seedlings producer in Cai Lay district, said the price of seedlings of Ri 6 and Mong Thong durian varieties had risen to 100,000 VND a seedling, up two times against the same period last year.-VNA