Trần Văn Huy of Sóc Trăng Province stands beside his purple longan tree. — VNA/VNS Photo
HCM CITY — In the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta, traders and consumers scour for unique fruits such as purple longan, red-flesh orange and jabuticaba and do not mind paying high prices for them.
Purple longan was discovered by chance by Trần văn Huy, 63, in Sóc Trăng Province’s Kế Sách District a decade ago. He saw a branch of a longan tree in his garden yielding purple-coloured fruits, and he began layering it.
Purple longan fruits are bigger than normal fruits, have a better aroma and sweeter taste and are more resistant to pests and diseases, he said.
For Lunar New Year he managed to harvest only around 100 kilogrammes of the fruit since the weather was unfavourable, well below market demand, he said.
Traders bought them at VNĐ100,000 (US$4.3) and sold at VNĐ300,000-500,000.
Huỳnh Hoàng Sơn of Lai Vung District in Đồng Tháp Province has one hectare under red-flesh orange and harvests fruits around the year and sells them for VNĐ38,000-60,000 per kilogramme depending on time of the year.
The orange has no seed and a slightly sweet and sour taste, and looks attractive. Many people like to eat it, especially during the New Year.
But like Huy, he too did not have enough fruits to sell.
He said: “A lot of customers have called to order in recent days, but unfortunately I do not have oranges to sell. Some are willing to pay VNĐ60,000 a kilogramme and buy large volumes.”
Recently many people have been calling on Huỳnh Công Thống in Thốt Nốt District, Cần Thơ City, to inquire about and buy his jabuticaba fruit trees.
Its fruit has a wine-like taste with acrid, sour and sweet flavors.
Thống said in 2012 he received 200 jabuticaba seeds from a relative in Mexico and started to grow them, and after three years the trees began to fruit.
"During this Tết holiday, I only supplied to the market 40 jabuticaba fruit trees that are fruiting. Customers have already bought them. Many other customers want to buy, but I now only have trees that are flowering, so I don’t sell them."
He said a 1.5 metre jabuticaba tree with 20-30 fruits fetched VNĐ4 million ($173) before Tết compared to VNĐ3 million ($129.8) during normal days.
"It is a quite strange fruit tree, and so many affluent people want to buy it to display in their house during Tết," he explained. — VNS