Trương Thị Thu Thảo grows Scarlotta, a US red seedless grape variety, in Ninh Phước District’s Phước Dân Town. – VNA/VNS Photo Nguyễn Thành
NINH THUẬN The south-central province of Ninh Thuận, the country’s largest grape producer, is expanding cultivation of high-quality foreign grape varieties.
Trương Thị Thu Thảo in Ninh Phước District’s Phước Dân Town was one of the first farmers to grow Scarlotta, a US red seedless grape variety.
Thảo has planted nearly 200 Scarlotta grape vines on a 500sq.m area, and plans to grow more.
Scarlotta grapes are harvested five months after planting with a yield of more than 50 kilos per vine a year, she said.
The grape variety is resistant to disease and suited to the province’s dry and hot weather. Scarlotta berries are large, sweet and slightly crispy.
Nguyễn Vui, owner of Toàn Thịnh grape seedling establishment in Phước Dân, said foreign grape varieties normally have large berries with good shape and colour, and a sweet and crisp taste with fragrant flavour. They are neither too sour nor too sweet.
His establishment is selling seedlings of many foreign grape varieties like Scarlotta, Kyoho, Black Queen and Shine Musat to farmers.
The province, which has the lowest rainfall in the country, has more than 1,200ha of grapes.
The province’s grape area accounts for only 3-3.5 per cent of the province’s total farming area, but the value of grape accounts for 19-20 per cent of the province’s total agriculture value, according to the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The red cardinal and NH 01-48 grapes are the province’s two major grape varieties.
The red cardinal was the first grape variety planted in the province and now accounts for 80 per cent of the province’s grape area.
NH 01-48 green grape is a high-quality table grape variety but its yield and quality are stable in only some areas that have suitable weather and soil conditions.
To improve the quality of grapes, the province has conducted research to create new seedless grape varieties like NH 04-61, NH 04-128 and NH 01-152, and to develop high-quality foreign grape varieties.
Phạm Dũng, head of the department’s Plant Protection and Cultivation Sub-department, said the department would work with farmers to complete a draft on growing processes for foreign grape varieties. The processes will be transferred to farmers to ensure high-quality grape varieties in the province.
The province has encouraged grape farmers to use Vietnamese good agricultural practices (VietGAP) standards.
Under its plan to restructure agriculture in the 2017- 30 period, the province will expand its grape cultivation in Ninh Hải, Ninh Phước and Ninh Sơn districts and Phan Rang-Tháp Chàm City.
The plan targets having 2,000ha of grapes with an output of 50,000 tonnes next year. The province has about 8,000ha of arable land suited for growing grapes. — VNS