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Dak Lak farmers boost income with fruit trees

Update: August, 15/2015 - 09:10
Farmers pack avocado for selling in Central Highland Dak Lak Province. The central highland Dak Lak Province planted 1,000 more hectares of fruit trees during rainy season this year, bringing its total to 11,000. — VNA/VNS Photo Duong Giang
DAK LAK  (VNS) — The central highland Dak Lak Province planted 1,000 more hectares of fruit trees during rainy season this year, bringing its total to 11,000, according to the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The rainy season lasts from last month to November. The province planted the market's favourite fruits, avocado, durian, rambutan, longan, lychee, guava, mango and orange, department experts said.

The production of fruit trees this year nearly doubled that of last year, because farmers learned from their experiences and bought seedlings from respected companies. They also planted avocado and durian in their coffee tree gardens to take advantage of the space and increase their income. When they used the space for coffee and avocado or durian, the farmers made at least VND390 million (US$17,800) per hectare, while with just coffee they would have made VND120 million ($5,700) per hectare.

Experts from the Western Highlands Agriculture and Forestry Science Institute said doubling up on crops helped farmers avoid prices changes and pestilent insects.

Despite its recent successes, the province has had difficulty with cocoa trees. It decided that by the end of the year it would have 6,000ha of cocoa trees, but up to now has only about 2,000ha.

Huynh Quoc Thich, deputy director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the province lacked necessary policies to help local farmers grow cocoa.

The province had trouble getting funds from credit organisations, and farmers didn't have access to good technology, he said. Under a new plan the province would improve infrastructure to grow the trees in a sustainable manner.

The province asked the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to research cocoa cultivation to support farmers who were trying to grow it.

More funding should be spent on selecting cocoa seeds with high productivity and quality for different ecological areas, Thich said. — VNS

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