|Red onion bulbs being dried under the sun after harvest in Ninh Thuận Province’s Ninh Hải District. – VNA/VNS Photo Nguyễn Thành|
NINH THUẬN – Farmers in the south-central province of Ninh Thuận are harvesting a bumper red onion crop and getting high prices for the bulbs.
Phạm Hải, who has 4,000 sq.m of land in Ninh Hải District’s Nhơn Hải Commune, said the weather had been favourable, there were few diseases and irrigation was sufficient, and so the yield was high.
Traders are buying the bulbs at a high price of VNĐ35,000 (US$1.5) a kilogramme, according to the farmer.
At this price, he earns VNĐ20 million ($850) per 1,000 sq.m per crop of 45 days.
Farmers are getting yields of 18 – 19 tonnes per hectare per crop this year.
Lê Thành Tâm, deputy chairman of the Nhơn Hải Commune People’s Committee, said: “The commune has determined red onion is its key crop as it is suitable for growing in coastal areas.”
With encouragement from commune authorities, local red onion farmers had expanded cultivation area to nearly 100ha now, he said.
The commune had established a co-operative to buy the bulbs to stabilise prices and ensure an outlet, he said.
“The commune also seeks partners in other provinces and cities to expand outlets for the red onion.”
Farmers in the province can grow five crops a year, harvesting seeds for cultivation and bulbs and leaves for consumption.
In Ninh Thuận, growing red onion is a traditional occupation in Ninh Hải and Ninh Phước districts and Phan Rang – Tháp Chàm City, where the soil and weather are suitable.
It provides jobs to hundreds of people during harvest at wages of VNĐ250,000 - 300,000 ($10 - 13) a day.
The province has around 900ha under red onion, garlic and other bulbs, according to its Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Its red onion is large and delicious, and could be preserved for a long time, and so is popular across the country.
Nguyễn Thị Cúc, a red onion trader in Nhơn Hải’s Mỹ Tường 2 Hamlet, said: “The demand for red onion bulbs is high now and the price is increasing day by day, and traders have to compete to buy.”
She buys two to three tonnes a day and sells them to HCM City and Lâm Đồng Province.
To further develop red onion farming, the department plans to collaborate with localities to instruct farmers in farming techniques and efficient irrigation.
Farming models that meet Vietnamese good agricultural practices (VietGAP) standards will be expanded.
The province plans to set up more co-operatives and co-operative groups to link red onion farmers.
It will also develop linkages with companies to sell the bulbs on e-commerce platforms. – VNS