Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — Farmers in the south-central province of Ninh Thuận are growing more green asparagus as the vegetable is offering higher profits compared to other crops.
Diệp Bảo Thu, who shifted from growing grapes to asparagus on his 2,000 sq.m farm in Ninh Hải District’s Xuân Hải Commune last year, now harvests about 18 - 22 kilo of asparagus shoots a day.
He sell the vegetable for VNĐ50,000 – 90,000 (US$2-4) a kilo and earns a profit of more than VNĐ1 million ($44) a day during the harvest.
Vũ Văn Thuấn, who has grown asparagus on his 4,000sq.m land plot in Xuân Hải for four years, said the cost for 1,000 sq.m of asparagus was about VNĐ15 million.
The asparagus plants are harvested for five to seven years, he said.
“Green asparagus can be harvested continuously for three months, and then is stopped for one month to help the plant recover,” he said.
Previously Thuấn planted grape, jujube and spring onion on his 4,000sq.m land plot but the profit was not high.
The province’s dry, hot weather and loamy sand are suitable for growing green asparagus, according to local farmers.
Ninh Thuận has the least rainfall compared to other provinces and cities in the country.
Nguyễn Đình Thi, deputy chairman of the Xuân Hải Commune People’s Committee, said that green asparagus had provided high profits for farmers for a number of years.
The profit is five to seven times higher than that of other crops, he said.
The commune has 110 households planting a total of 21.5 ha of green asparagus, but supply has not met demand, he said.
Ninh Thuận authorities have encouraged farmers to expand the area under asparagus in drought-prone areas.
Local authorities also provided advanced farming techniques to asparagus farmers in recent years.
In 2016, the province’s Farmers Association started a project to grow green asparagus under Vietnamese Good Agricultural Practices (VietGAP) standards in Ninh Phước District.
The quality and yield under the project was 10 – 20 per cent higher than from traditional farming.
Early this year, the province’s Department of Science and Technology transferred the technique of using drip irrigation to asparagus farmers.
The technique was first used by four farmers at the Tuấn Tú Agricultural Services Co-operative to plant 1.4 ha of green asparagus in An Hải Commune.
Hùng Ky, director of the Tuấn Tú Agricultural Services Co-operative, said previously asparagus shoots were often infected with fungus when spray irrigation methods were used.
The use of drip irrigation has helped solve the problem, he said, adding that farmers in other areas have visited the co-operative to learn about the technique.
The province has more than 100ha of green asparagus, mostly in Ninh Hải and Ninh Phước districts.
The province will develop asparagus areas with advanced farming techniques in a zone of 200ha in Ninh Phước and Bác Ái districts.
The province’s asparagus shoots are sold in the province and to HCM City, Hà Nội and Đà Lat City and other provinces.
The vegetable was first planted in the province’s Ninh Phước District eight years ago. — VNS