Gia Lai to expand passion fruit cultivation

October 24, 2022 - 08:21
Gia Lai Province plans to expand the cultivation of passion fruit since it fetches farmers high incomes amid high demand at home and in export markets.
A passion fruit orchard in Gia Lai Province’s Đăk Đoa District that has a farm contract. – VNA/VNS Photo Hồng Điệp

GIA LAI – Gia Lai Province plans to expand the cultivation of passion fruit since it fetches farmers high incomes amid high demand at home and in export markets.

The Tây Nguyên (Central Highlands) province has fertile soil and suitable weather for growing the fruit, and so has nearly 4,500ha under it and an annual output of 110,000 tonnes.

On 2,500ha farmers grow the fruit to Vietnamese or global good agricultural practices (VietGAP, GlobalGAP) standards.

A similar area is equipped with efficient irrigation facilities.

The province aims to have 80-90 per cent planted to VietGAP, GlobalGAP or organic standard.

Đoàn Ngọc Có, deputy director of its Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said Gia Lai, which has the largest passion fruit growing area in the country, plans to expand it to 20,000ha by 2025 and 30,000ha by 2030.

“Passion fruit fetches incomes of VNĐ350-400 million (US$14,300-16,400) per hectare per year … for farmers.”

Nguyễn Văn Xuân in Chư Păh District’s Ia Nhin Commune said he has grown the fruit for many years on his 3ha farm and earns VNĐ300 million ($12,300) per hectare, higher than from many other crops.

The price of the fruit has stabilised at VNĐ10,000 (40 US cent) a kilogramme for the last two years, he said.

His harvest is fully bought by the Ia Mơ Nông Commune Agriculture and Service Co-operative with which he has a contract.

Lê Văn Thanh, director of the co-operative, said his co-operative has tied up with around 300 farmers in Chư Păh district’s Ia Mơ Nông, Ia Ka, Ia Nhin, Nghĩa Hoà, Hoà Phú communes and Ia Ly Town with 320ha of passion fruit.

The farmers are provided inputs on credit and paid more than the market price for their fruits, he said.

The co-operative buys 10-20 tonnes of the fruit every day from them and sells them to a processing firm.

To improve quality, the co-operative is completing procedures to apply for production codes for 12 fruit growing areas covering 300ha.

It is expected to get them by the end of this year, and once it does could export the fruit to China through official channels, Thanh said.

It plans to sign up more farmers to expand the total area to 600-700 ha next year, he added.

Gia Lai has zoned areas for growing passion fruit, banana, avocado, and durian, its four key fruit exports.

It also plans to turn more low-yield cassava, sugarcane, cashew, and rubber growing lands into high-value fruit growing areas.

To further develop passion fruit cultivation sustainably and efficiently, it will focus on developing production codes and off-season fruits, the latter to ensure processing firms have supply year round, according to the department.

The department is helping set up elite passion fruit orchards, and said the province has eight elite orchards that produce 2.7 million seedlings a year.

The province has 25 entities that process a total of 150,000-160,000 tonnes of passion fruit a year.

Many of them have invested in modern faculties. – VNS