Viet Nam News
TIỀN GIANG — Tiền Giang Province is growing more honeydew melons via a drip irrigation method and in membrane houses to raise farmers’ incomes, according to the province’s Department of Science and Technology.
The department’s Centre for Biotechnology Application has helped local farmers who used traditional cultivation methods to shift to the high-tech method.
Vương Thị Mỹ Thanh, deputy director of the centre, said the 500sq.m membrane house and an auto-drip irrigation system cost a total of VNĐ150 million (US$6,535).
Four crops of honeydew melons are sold at an average price of VNĐ30,000 ($1.3) per kilogramme.
Each 500sq.m of honeydew melons produces 1.5 tonnes per crop, earning a profit of VNĐ22.5 million ($980).
Growers could produce about 30 tonnes of honeydew melons per hectare per crop, earning a profit of VNĐ450 million ($19,607) for each crop.
Ngô Hữu Nguyền, a farmer in Chợ Gạo District’s Bình Phục Nhứt Commune, said he was now growing honeydew melons in a 400sq.m membrane house.
Thanks to the high-tech method, each year he can grow four crops and harvest about four tonnes, with a profit of over VNĐ60million ($2,614).
Meanwhile, a farmer living in Mỹ Tho City Nguyễn Văn Ba invested VNĐ150 million to build a 550sq.m membrane house, producing 1.5 tonnes of honeydew melons per crop with a high net profit of VNĐ90 million ($3,920) a year.
“Growing crops for a short time in a membrane house helps control insects and disease, recoups the initial investment, and saves water resources,” he said.
In particular, 10 farming households in Gò Công Đông District’s Tân Tây Commune are building a network of membrane houses with a total area of 1,548sq.m, reaching a net profit of VNĐ200 million ($8,714) each year.
Farmers in neighbouring provinces of Vĩnh Long, Bến Tre and Long An are also using the drip irrigation and membrane house methods.
Most farmers with small fields can reap the benefits of such methods, particularly in cities and provinces of the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta region that are seeing rapid urbanisation. — VNS