Mekong Delta fruit farmers enjoy bumper harvest, high prices

10:30 | 24/05/2019 Society

Farmers in the Mekong Delta have entered the peak fruit harvesting season, with bumper harvests and high selling prices.

A farmer harvests durians in Cai Lay district of Tien Giang province - Photo: VNA

In Tra Vinh province, the peak harvest began early this month for specialty fruits like mangosteens, durians, rambutans and longans.

Kha Van Hong, who has a 2,000 sq.m rambutan orchard in Tra Vinh’s Cau Ke district, said the weather was favourable for fruit this year. The fruit yield was more than 10 percent higher than normal, he said.

The prices of the fruits sold at orchards in the province last week were 4,000 – 5,000 VND (17-21 US cent) a kilogram higher than the same period last year, according to farmers.

Early this month, traders from HCM City offered to buy in advance mangosteens in Cau Ke at a price of 40,000 – 45,000 VND (1.7 – 1.9 USD) a kilogram. However, most farmers did not sell the fruit in advance because the district’s mangosteens are in high demand. The price of mangosteens sold at orchards in Cau Ke was 80,000 VND (3.4 USD) a kilogram last week.

Do Van Tai, who grows mangosteen in Cau Ke’s An Phu Tan commune, said this was the first time the price of mangosteen had reached a record high.

In Can Tho city, traders bought Chu mango and Hoa Loc mango at a price of 20,000 VND (85 US cent) a kilogram, and durian at 40,000 – 45,000 VND (1.7 – 1.9 USD) a kilogram last week. The price of fruits was down 5,000 – 15,000 VND (21 – 64 US cent) a kilogram against the beginning of the harvest season but were higher than the same period last year.

In recent years, most farmers in Can Tho and the Mekong Delta’s 12 provinces have planted high yields and quality fruit varieties, which are in high demand in the market. The profit for fruit growing is three to four times higher than rice, according to farmers.

The regional provinces and Can Tho city have set up concentrated fruit growing areas to produce fruit with high and consistent quality for domestic consumption as well as exports.

Tien Giang province, which is the country’s largest fruit producer, has 9,200ha of concentrated durian growing areas, 7,000ha of concentrated dragon fruit growing areas and more than 4,000ha of concentrated mango growing areas, according to the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The Mekong Delta has about 307,000ha of fruits, producing about 4 million tonnes of fruits a year, and accounting for 40 percent of the country’s total fruit area. The region’s durian, dragon fruit, milk apple and green skin and pink flesh grapefruit are exported to many markets. Besides growing fruit, many farmers in the Mekong Delta - for example Can Tho are using their orchards to offer tourism services.