Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — Farmers who grow mangos in the off-season in the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta are expecting a poor harvest as prolonged rains have affected fruit production.
Advanced techniques and chemicals have been used to induce mango trees to bloom so they can produce fruit for the Christmas and Tết (Lunar New Year) seasons.
In Hậu Giang Province, many farmers treated their Hoà Lộc mango trees to bloom in early September, but rains affected the flower production.
Hoà Lộc mango is one of the delta’s specialty fruits which are in high demand, especially during major festivals. It takes about three months to harvest ripe mangos.
Trần Văn Quang, who has 0.5ha of Hoà Lộc mango in Châu Thành A District’s Tân Hoà Commune in the province, said that 100 of his mango trees did not bear fruit after blooming because of prolonged rains. The trees would have yielded seven to eight tonnes of fruit.
“We sprayed chemicals, but it did not work,” he said.
Quang said he has spent more than VNĐ20 million (US$900) to buy chemicals to spray his mango trees.
Đinh Văn Phương, who has 10ha of mango and has grown the fruit for 23 years in Châu Thành A’s Bảy Ngàn Town, said he had treated 800 mango trees to have off-season flowers that could be harvested at Christmas. However, the yield was low.
Phương said his family would lose about 20 tonnes of mango, or about VNĐ400 million ($18,100), when the harvest comes.
Đặng Kiểm, head of the Châu Thành A Plant Protection Station, said in recent years mango farmers had grown off-season mangos to meet market demand and sell mangos at a high price for Christmas and Tết.
“Mango orchard owners are expected a yield decline of 40-50 per cent in the off-season harvest,” he said.
In previous years, farmers in the district harvested an average of five tonnes per ha of mango for Christmas, he said.
This year, district farmers have treated about 145 ha of mangos to produce fruit to sell during Christmas.
With an estimated yield loss of about 50 per cent, farmers will lose more than 350 tonnes of mango.
In Đồng Tháp Province, which is the delta’s largest mango producer, prolonged rains and hoar frost caused off-season mango blooms to fail to bear fruit.
In addition, many young off-season fruits withered and fell off the trees.
Đồng Tháp’s mango supply for the coming Tết, which will fall in January, is estimated to be fall by 60-70 per cent compared to the last Tết, according to the province’s mango orchard owners.
Đồng Tháp has more than 9,300ha of mango, with annual output of about 90,000 tonnes. — VNS