HCM CITY —Farmers in the Cuu Long Delta saw their incomes plummet as the prices for specialty fruits fell at the time of the Doan Ngo festival, which falls on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month
Rambutan, pomelo, and mangosteen prices were sharply down ahead of Doan Ngo, or the "double five" festival since last Saturday.
Java rambutan at the orchard dropped to around VND5,000 a kilogramme from VND15,000 a month ago.
Durian and green skin pomelo went down in Ben Tre Province by VND5,000 to around VND20,000 and VND35,000 respectively.
Nguyen Huu Binh, deputy head of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in Tra Vinh Province's Cau Ke District, said mangosteen was down to VND30,000 from almost VND90,000 last month.
Bui Thanh Liem, head of the Cho Lach District Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, explained that prices fell possibly because many farmers adjusted their specialty-fruits harvest season to coincide with the festival.
Besides, demand did not increase this year, he added.
Nguyen Minh Chau, director of the Southern Fruit Research Institute, said most fruits grown in the delta, whether exported or sold domestically, are consumed fresh because of a lack of investment in fruit preservation and processing facilities.
Many traders have taken advantage of this to push down prices, he added.
Analysts called on local authorities to help fruit farmers restructure production and create close links between production and consumption.
Local authorities should also encourage more investment in fruit preservation and processing facilities to add value, they said. — VNS