Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — Farmers in the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta growing Thai jackfruit are earning big profits from exports because of the high demand for the fruit in overseas markets.
Huỳnh Thị Nương, who intercrops this and other fruits in her orchard in Tiền Giang Province’s Cai Lậy District, said she earned more than VNĐ8 million (US$350) from selling Thai jackfruit at VNĐ42,000 per kilogramme before Tết (the Lunar New Year).
“The price of jackfruit has increased sharply since the middle of last year.”
Dương Văn Hùng, who has dozens of Thai jackfruit trees in Cai Lậy District, said growing the tree does not require much tending, fertilisers or pesticides.
They begin to fruit in a little over two years and do so year round, meaning farmers have a steady income, he said.
An owner of a fruit trading business in Cai Lậy said he resumed buying jackfruits on Monday to sell to China after Tết.
Prices have fallen slightly now because China has not bought since Tết, he said but was hopeful they would increase by 20-30 per cent soon.
Trần Thị Nguyên, head of the Cai Lậy District Agriculture and Rural Development Bureau, said prices had risen to VNĐ50,000 – 52,000 a kilogramme before Tết and have since reduced gradually.
But even so their current prices match those of durian, which is considered a high-value fruit.
Jackfruit farmers said they earned profits of VNĐ500-700 million ($22,000 – 30,800) per hectare last year because of the high demand in export markets.
The country’s exports were worth US$28 million last year, a 193 per cent rise from 2016, according to the Việt Nam Fruits and Vegetables Association.
The shipments included both fresh and processed fruit.
The high price means many farmers in the delta are scrambling to plant the trees.
Lê Thị Thanh Hồng in Đồng Tháp Province’s Cao Lãnh Town said she had 2ha of farming land that grew rice and soursop but was not effective.
In recent months, many people had asked to rent her land to grow jackfruits but she had not agreed, Hồng said.
The rent for rice paddies is around VNĐ10 million per hectare per year, but this year she was offered VNĐ25 million by farmers seeking to grow jackfruit, she said.
Jackfruit is one of 15 fruits grown most widely in the country, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. — VNS