Viet Nam News
HÀ TĨNH — Farmers in central Hà Tĩnh Province have enjoyed a bumper crop of oranges and believed the Tết (Lunar New Year) price will bring them a high income.
Meanwhile, the local agriculture sector aims to apply sustainable cultivation practices to the development of large orange tree farms, with the goal of adapting to climate change.
According to a report by the Division of Agriculture and Rural Development of the province’s Hương Sơn District, there are 844ha of oranges ready for harvesting to supply the Tết market.
Lê Quang Hồ, the division’s head, said advanced cultivation techniques applied by local farmers have resulted in a bumper crop, estimating that each hectare yields 15 tonnes of orange fruits.
A report by local Hà Tĩnh newspaper said some trees bear so many fruits that they appear orange instead of green.
Ngô Xuân Linh, a farmer who owns an orange farm of 38ha in Sơn Mai Commune said he expected a total income of VNĐ15 billion (US$660,000) from the orange fruits as this type of fruit is favoured by consumers nationwide thanks to its flavour.
“Almost all fruits will ripen in the days ahead of Tết [which falls on February 15] and I believe I will make a high income thanks to the fruit quality,” Linh said, adding that he planned to expand the total area to 50ha next year.
Local authorities supported the expansion by Linh and other orange farmers. Nguyễn Kiều Hưng, the district’s deputy chairman said orange farms have lifted up the local economy and orange has been chosen as the key tree to flourish in the hard soil in this mountainous district.
Phạm Quang Hùng, a farmer in Hương Khê District’s Hương Thủy Commune, said he had 3,500 orange trees in his farm, expecting a yield of 20 tonnes of fruits and total income of VNĐ1 billion (US$44,000) this crop, with market price of about VNĐ80,000 each kilogramme.
Hùng said the bumper crop was the result of organic cultivation. “I used waste from husbandry and fermented soya bean to fertilise the trees. At the same time, I have a system that help water the trees with gradual drops,” he said.
The province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development said its agriculture was hit hard by climate change, thus the department has encouraged local farmers to practice sustainable cultivation for adaptation.
The department’s deputy director Lê Đức Nhân said the sector has facilitated the development of large farms using cultivation methods that are safe for environment, including the farms growing orange trees in the mountainous districts of Hương Khê and Hương Sơn.
The department also targeted the application of VietGAP (Vietnamese Good Agricultural Practice) criteria into the farms, expecting to export local orange fruits. — VNS