|A coconut farm in Trà Vinh Province’s Tiểu Cần District. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Hoà|
TRÀ VINH — The Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Trà Vinh plans to improve the value of its coconut products to boost farmers’ incomes and meet export requirements in 2022-25 period.
A plan approved recently by its People’s Committee envisages attracting investment in coconut production and developing linkages between various stakeholders in production and consumption.
With linkages, companies can secure supply of clean coconuts for processing and farmers can have guaranteed outlets and incomes.
The province will assist the companies with making products to international standards and meet the requirements of import markets, and have support policies for small and medium-sized processors to enhance their competitiveness.
It will develop concentrated coconut growing areas to Vietnamese good agricultural practices (VietGAP) and organic standards with guaranteed buying of the produce by companies.
It will develop infrastructure for these areas and identify high-quality coconut varieties to be grown there, collaborating with Bến Tre Province and universities for the latter.
It will research biological methods to manage coconut pests and diseases.
It will assist farmers and co-operatives with developing new coconut-growing areas and improving the quality of existing ones.
Trà Vinh is the country’s second largest coconut producer after neighbouring Bến Tre.
According to Lê Văn Đông, deputy director of its Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, the province has nearly 90,000 households with around 25,000ha of coconut farms that harvest 300 million nuts annually.
Coconuts are grown mostly in Càng Long, Tiểu Cần and Châu Thành districts. The province has 13 organic farming areas covering 4,012ha where four companies follow international standards.
It plans to double this area by 2025, with 6,000ha meeting international certification norms.
It also aims to have at least 10 companies linking up with farmers to grow coconuts and process them for exports.
Some companies from Bến Tre have already linked with farmers in Trà Vinh to grow organic coconuts.
The Bến Tre Import and Export Joint Stock Corporation, for instance, has tied up with farmers to grow 1,383ha of organic coconut meeting international standards in Càng Long and Tiểu Cần districts.
Farmers get 10-20 per cent higher for their nuts than if they grow using traditional methods.
This year Trà Vinh has undertaken promotion activities to persuade processors in Bến Tre to expand investment in organic coconut cultivation and processing. — VNS