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Barren tomato plants inflict heavy losses

Update: October, 11/2014 - 09:45
Many farmers in northern Hai Duong Province have suffered losses after planting a tomato variety that failed to bear fruits after months. — Photo tintucnongnghiep

HAI DUONG (VNS)— Many farmers in northern Hai Duong Province have suffered losses after planting a tomato variety that failed to bear fruits after months.

Vo Van Thanh, a farmers in Ai Quoc Ward, said he had purchased the tomato variety from a local agricultural product shop to plant in his 1,440sq.m plot.

Over a month, the tomato plants grew rapidly to a height of one metre. However, they yielded few fruits.

"The plants are barren. I have to pull them out for another crop," he said.

Nguyen Van Manh, another farmer in the ward, said he had to pull out the tomato plants from his field.

"I can't wait any more. It is fruitless, and has ruined the land," he said.

Manh said he had to borrow money to buy the seed, fertiliser and to lease the land, a total investment of about VND50 million (US$2,350). Now he is facing heavy losses.

He always bought the tomato variety, called F1 Mongal T11, sold by Green Co. Ltd on Nguyen Duy Trinh Street in HCM City. Previous crops with the same variety had yielded good harvests, he said.

Nguyen Duc Thiet, chairman of the ward's Agricultural Services Co-operative, said that there were more than 25 hectares of tomato gardens in the ward, with Ngoc Tri Hamlet having the largest area of 10 hectares.

Linh Quan, Vu Thuong, Dong Thap, Van Xa and Tien Hai are other tomato growing hamlets.

Thiet said this variety had helped farmers earn more than VND200 million ($9,430) per hectare, but this time, the barren plants inflicted losses worth VND5 billion ($235).

In Ngoc Tri Hamlet, for instance, where more than 120 households had planted tomatoes on 10 hectares, each household suffered losses of between VND10 million ($471) and VND3 million ($141) each, he added.

Thiet said the company that owns the varieties had sent a representative to verify losses and promised support worth VND1 million ($47.1) for each farmer, but the farmers did not accept it, saying the compensation was meagre.

Nguyen Van Thang, a farmer in Vu Xa Hamlet, said tomato was the main income earner for many households, and they only bought the variety from one company. Therefore, it must take responsibility for the barren plants and losses suffered.

Nguyen Quang Hoa, a representative of the company, told the Nong thon ngay nay (Countryside Today) newspaper that the company admitted the tomato variety - F1 Mongal T11 – was of low quality.

He said this variety, which had been imported from India, also caused losses for farmers in the northern and central regions.

The company is trying to find out if the seed supplied was genuine, he said.

Hoa also said that the company agreed to supply another tomato variety to affected farmers, but did not give further details of the offer. — VNS


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