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Lao Cai urges residents to reap artichoke profits

Update: September, 07/2013 - 10:55
An additional 15 hectares of artichoke have been grown in the northern mountainous province of Lao Cai's Sa Pa District this summer-autumn crop, raising the total cultivation area of medicinal plants in the region to nearly 50 hectares.— Photo baolaocai
LAO CAI (VNS)— An additional 15 hectares of artichoke have been grown in the northern mountainous province of Lao Cai's Sa Pa District this summer-autumn crop, raising the total cultivation area of medicinal plants in the region to nearly 50 hectares.

Artichoke growers in the communes of Hau Thao, Lao Chai, Ban Khang, Sa Pa, and Ta Phin have been provided with free artichoke seeds by Traphaco, a Ha Noi-based medicine manufacturer, while the district People's Committee has provided fertilizer and pesticide.

Traphaco also guaranteed to buy 100 per cent of the artichokes harvested in the area to produce artichoke extract.

According to Nguyen Tien Thanh, head of the district's economic department, artichokes had high economic efficiency and were sold at a stable wholesale price of VND2.500 (US$0.1).

"A local family once earned nearly VND50 million (nearly $2,500) in one year by growing artichokes," Thanh said, adding that the income could double.

For this reason, artichoke cultivation nowadays was offering local residents with high incomes, he said.

Having realised the crop's potential, the district was looking to increase the cultivation area of herbal trees to hundreds of hectares, of which artichokes would make up 50 per cent, Thanh said.

Artichoke cultivation will also be conducted in other communes such as Ban Ho where there is enough land budget to cultivate them and residents have experience in growing the trees.

In Viet Nam, artichokes are grown only in Da Lat in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong and in Sa Pa in the northern province of Lao Cai.

As a mountain district in Lao Cai Province, Sa Pa had a cool climate all year round, which was ideal for growing many valuable medicinal plants such as buttercups, peppermint and artichokes, according to Nguyen Dac Tien, director of the Lao Cai Medical Materials Joint Stock Company.

However, Tien added that the amount of plants produced was falling due to poor management by local authorities and the industrialisation process.— VNS

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