Vietnamese farmers succeed in growing exotic fruits

Currently, several farmers have successfully grown various types of exotic fruits with productivity and quality as high as imported fruits. Owing to that, domestic consumers are now able to buy these products at lower prices than those of imported fruits.

Ecuadorian dragon fruits are successfully grown by farmer Nguyen Duy Khang. (Photo: SGGP)

Ecuadorian dragon fruits are successfully grown by farmer Nguyen Duy Khang. (Photo: SGGP)

After learning that Colombian passion fruits, which have a sweet taste and rich aroma, are sold at VND240,000 per two pcs on the market, through a website that sells the seeds of Colombian passion fruits, Mr. Nguyen Huu Cong, a farmer in Long Phung Commune in Long Phu District in Soc Trang Province, ordered a bag of 10 Columbian passion fruit seeds. When he sowed those seeds, only 5 seeds sprouted and grew, but only three vines gave fruits. After nine months of cultivation, passion fruit vines gave the first ripe fruit. Mr. Cong continued to grow another 12 passion fruit vines under another model which gives passion fruit vines more space to develop and bear more fruits.

‘Unlike regular passion fruit variety, growing Colombian passion fruits requires extremely little care and little fertilizer. Growers only need to build frame for passion fruit vines to grow on then they will continuously bear fruits. The growing time of passion fruits is from three to four years. The only difficulty is that at the time passion fruits are nearly ripe, they are usually vulnerable to fungal diseases and fruit flies. Especially, in comparison with regular passion fruits, Colombian passion fruits can be eaten fresh with a sweet taste,’ Mr. Cong shared.

Thai red sweet corn Ruby Queen, which is well-known all around the world for many years, now has been successfully grown by Vietnamese farmers. Having harvested for five crops, Mr. Le Thanh Nam, a farmer in Tan An City in Long An Province, is growing 2,000 square meters of Thai red sweet corn. After a crop of 60 days, he earned a profit of VND40 million. On average, he grows 6,000 seeds on an area of 1,000 square meters and will collect around 4,000 corns. At the present, the price of Ruby Queen sweet corns is quite stable as the seed trading company also ensures consumption of red sweet corn with market price from VND20,000-VND30,000 per corn.

Nguyen Duy Khang, a farmer in Duong Xuan Hoi Commune in Chau Thanh District of Long An Province, excitedly said that he has just harvested his first Ecuadorian dragon fruits. He said that he saw yellow dragon fruits from Ecuador being displayed at a price of above VND700,000 per kilogram at an exotic fruit store. After searching for information in the Internet, he found that cuttings of Ecuadorian dragon fruit stem were sold in Thailand’s market so he bought them for trial cultivation. After a year, his Ecuadorian dragon fruit plants started to bear fruits. However, it takes around three months from flowering to ripening, about one month longer than other varieties of dragon fruit. But Mr. Khang continued his trial cultivation on an area of one hectare.

According to Mr. Tran Viet Kien, director of Nova Seed Company, after two years of trial cultivation for three crops on the same land, Ruby Queen red sweet corn variety gave good productivity so it was recognized by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. Ruby Queen red sweet corn is the first sweet corn that is edible without being boiled or cooked. In order to ensure product quality as well as to prevent farmers from growing red sweet corn massively, Thai corn seed supplier only provide corn seeds at a certain quantity to prevent Ruby Queen red sweet corns from losing their prices. In addition, the company also ensures consumption for farmers so as to control food safety issues as red sweet corn can be used fresh.

Meanwhile, Mr. Nguyen Huu Cong currently is cooperating with Happy Trees Company to expand another two hectares of Colombian passion fruits. Mr. Huynh Minh Tuan, director of Happy Trees, said that each passion fruit vine after five months of hybridization will start to give ripe fruits for the first time. With 15 passion fruit vines, around 300-400 kilogram of passion fruits will be collected. A kilogram consists around 15 passion fruits and costs VND100,000 per kilogram. On average, 1,000 square meters can accommodate 100 passion fruit vines and harvest duration is about 20 days. The next harvest will be in the next three months. Passion fruits can be harvested twice a year and each vine gives an average 20-30 kilogram annually.

As for exotic cultivars, it is essential to know their origins. They must be adaptable to the climate of Vietnam. And there must have experts to monitor and evaluate quality. Ideally, trial cultivation models need to be informed to authorities in order to avoid massive cultivation.

Mr. Nguyen Nhu Cuong, acting director of the Department of Crop Production under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that the model that connects farmers and enterprises is quite effective. Enterprises with financial potential and administrative skills will bring good farming practice methods to farmers. Certainly, if enterprises earn profits, farmers will also receive their benefits. It is necessary to diversify fruit products in order to increase income for farmers. Before expanding market, enterprises need trial or test cultivation model to be successful then apply widely. In the context of climate change, new cultivars contribute to the development of agriculture in crop restructuring.

By Thanh Hai – Translated by Thuy Doan

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