Viet Nam News
CÀ MAU — A famous dried-banana village in Trần Hợi Commune in Cà Mau Province is now entering its peak production season for Tết (Lunar New Year), which falls on February 5 this year.
The village, which has been producing dried bananas for more than 60 years, is increasing production by 30 -50 per cent compared to normal days.
Hồ Kim Hạnh, who has made dried bananas in Trần Hợi’s Hamlet 10C for more than 30 years, said she would produce 2 -3 tonnes a day near Tết to meet the demand of her wholesale purchasers.
She normally produces about 20 tonnes of dried bananas a month and hires 15 – 20 workers. “My job provides a high income for many households,” she said.
Dried-banana products include whole bananas that have been peeled or round-shaped banana pieces. They are dried naturally under the sun or by dryers.
Producers who dry bananas by sunlight usually make the products in the dry season between lunar September and March. The rainy season in the province ends early, creating favourable weather for drying under the sun.
The price of ripe bananas has been lower than the 2017 price, but the price of dried bananas has been increasing, so profits are expected to rise, according to producers.
The price of bananas dried under the sun is VNĐ12,000 (US$0.5) a kilo while dried bananas produced with dryers cost VNĐ18,000 – 20,000 ($0.7-0.8) a kilo.
The village’s dried bananas are mostly sold in Mekong Delta provinces and HCM City.
Dried bananas producers in the village located in Trần Văn Thời District also buy fresh bananas in the province’s other districts to meet production demand.
Trần Văn Hoàng of Trần Hợi’s Hamlet 10B makes 15 tonnes of dried bananas a month near Tết compared to his usually 10 tonnes a month.
He uses a dryer, which produces bananas that have higher quality and are better looking than sun-dried bananas.
Last year, the Trần Hợi dried banana was granted a collective brand name by the National Office of Intellectual Property.
Nguyễn Văn Đoàn, deputy chairman of Trần Hợi Commune People’s Committee, said to maintain the collective brand name, the commune would develop co-operatives to strengthen linkages among dried banana producers and produce quality dried bananas.
The commune has more than 80 households making dried bananas.
Workers at dried banana establishments earn an average income of VNĐ4 - 6 million (US$172 - 258) a month, according to the Trần Hợi Farmers Association. – VNS