Huỳnh Việt Trung earns hundreds of millions of đồng annually from guava trees that were planted in acid soils in Sóc Trăng Province. — VNA/VNS Photo Trung Hiếu
SÓC TRĂNG — Huỳnh Việt Trung, a farmer in the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Sóc Trăng, earns hundreds of millions of đồng each year from guava trees that he planted in acid soils.
The 42-year-old man cultivates 4,000 guava trees on an area of more than 3ha in Tân Long Commune's Long Hòa Hamlet in Ngã Năm Town.
When Trung was 20 years old, he left his hometown in Lấp Vò District in Đồng Tháp Province to move to the southern province of Bình Phước to find a job.
In 2009, a friend introduced him to a 3.7ha acid sulphate soil area in Sóc Trăng Province. After that, he decided to start a new life, and began growing rice and vegetables, and then planted 0.4ha of guava trees.
“They grow well in these acidic land,” Trung said.
The guava trees began to bear fruit eight months after planting.
He used his knowledge of "clean" farming methods and techniques to grow the guava, which are of high quality.
“Thanks to planting in acid soils, the fruit is sweet and crunchy,” he said.
He gradually shifted most of the field to guava trees, which are easier to grow and have less pest damage than other crops.
If good pruning and fertilising techniques are used, the fruit can be harvested year round, Trung said.
He said that he wanted to provide clean and safe products to meet the needs of customers.
“I use microbiological fertilisers and do not use toxic pesticides or chemical fertilisers,” he said.
He also covers the fruit with bags to protect them. These practices increase the quality of the fruit and fetch a higher price.
About 450 kilogrammes of guava fruit can be harvested a day during the harvest season. One kilo comprises about three fruits.
Trung can earn VNĐ10,000-15,000 (US$0.43-0.65) per kilo of guava, with profit of VNĐ100,000 million ($4,310) per month.
Even when the guava prices fall to VNĐ2,000-3,000 (8-12 cents) per kilo, traders still purchase his guava for VNĐ8,000-9,000 ($0.34-0.39) per kilo.
To reduce working hours, he has invested VNĐ170 million ($7,325) in a sprinkler irrigation system.
Trung has also registered a trademark for his guava fruit with the brand Trung Liễu and has completed the procedures to apply for a food safety and hygiene certificate.
“This helps build trust among customers and promotes my product value,” he said.
His guavas always sell out on the local market as well as in HCM City and other provinces.
Trung, who also grows mango and lemon trees, said he is willing to pass on his knowledge about fruit growing to other farmers.
"My produces are high-quality and I am not afraid of competition, and I feel that helping others get better income is something that should be done," Trung said. — VNS