|Bình Thuận Province is midway through the main dragon fruit harvest season. — VNA/VNS Photo|
HCM CITY — Dragon fruit farmers in Bình Thuận Province, the country’s largest producer of the fruit, are enjoying high prices and steady demand in the main harvest season this year.
Traders are buying the fruit at VNĐ8,000 – 10,000 per kilogramme.
Trần Văn Đông of Hàm Thuận Nam District’s Hàm Minh Commune explained that the harvest has declined this year and so demand exceeds supply.
Farmers are making profits at current prices, he said.
This year, many farmers had decided not to grow a large quantity for the main harvest season, which lasts from March to September, and instead increase output in the off-season because of fears prices would decline.
After the main harvest season last year the prices had slumped to VNĐ4,000 – 6,000.
So many farmers pruned many of the fruits when they were still young, and this also meant the remaining fruits were large, beautiful and even in size.
The harvest is halfway through.
A part of the harvest has been exported to countries in almost all continents.
In recent years many farmers in the south-central province have not been focusing on the main dragon fruit season since it often witnesses severe price volatility.
Planting in the off-season ensures a more even distribution through the year and more consistent prices.
Farmers are also adopting advanced farming techniques to reduce costs and improve quality.
Besides using water-efficient irrigation methods, they also use compact lamps at night to trick the plants into flowering out of season.
The province has more than 27,700ha under the fruit, 726ha more than in 2016, and produces 540,000 tonnes annually, according to its Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Of this, 9,500ha are planted to Vietnamese good agricultural practice (VietGAP) standards.
Speaking at a recent meeting, Huỳnh Thanh Cảnh, deputy secretary of the province Party Committee, said the farming and sales of dragon fruit have been good since last year.
Farmers, local authorities and other relevant agencies should increase the application of VietGAP standards in growing the fruit, he said.
The province plans to have 28,000ha under the fruit and an annual output of 28 tonnes per hectare by 2020, with half of it produced to VietGAP standards. — VNS