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Salt farmers' "clean" harvests bring high prices

Update: January, 24/2020 - 11:30

 

Farmers harvest salt in Bà Rịa – Vũng Tàu City’s Long Điền District. – VNA/VNS Photo Hoàng Nhị

BÀ RỊA - VŨNG TÀU – Salt farmers in the southern province of Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu have had good harvests because of favourable weather, selling all of their salt output at high prices.

In Long Điền District’s An Ngãi Commune, the province’s largest salt producer, farmers are busy harvesting the third salt harvest of the 2019-20 salt production season.

Huỳnh Văn Thuyết, who produces salt on a 3ha field in An Ngãi, said farmers started the season early as the weather at the end of last year was favourable for production, with no rains or storms.

For each of the last three harvests, he harvested about 20 tonnes of salt per hectare. If the weather continues to be favourable, the salt yield could increase to 35 tonnes per hectare per harvest, he said.

Salt farmers, who can have many harvests during the season, produce salt with traditional methods or with plastic sheets that cover the fields. The latter method produces "clean" salt.

It takes about 10-15 consecutive sunny days to produce a salt harvest under traditional methods, while 10-12 consecutive sunny days are needed with the plastic sheet method. 

The salt price under the traditional method is VNĐ1,000 a kilogramme and under the plastic sheet method VNĐ1,100 -1,200 a kilogramme. The prices have been the same during this harvest as the same period last year.

All salt produced in An Ngãi Commune in the 2019-20 season has been bought by traders, according to farmers.

In the 2019-20 salt production season, the province’s Sub-department of Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Quality Assurance helped farmers to increase yield and quality, and reduce production and labour costs, by promoting advanced farming models.

The sub-department has also worked with salt processors to secure outlets for farmers' products.

The province has 766ha of salt production, down 103ha against the 2018-19 salt season, according to the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Of the figure, 35ha of salt fields use plastic sheets, mostly in Long Điền District, Vũng Tàu City and Bà Rịa City.

Last year, the National Office of Intellectual Property granted geographical indication certification for Bà Rịa Salt, which is produced in Bà Rịa City’s Phước Trung Ward, Vũng Tàu City’s Long Sơn Commune, Long Điền District’s Long Điền Town, and An Ngãi and Phước Hưng communes.

Phạm Thị Thúy Yến, deputy director of the department, said that the department would work closely with households and enterprises in Kiên Giang Province’s Phú Quốc District to ensure selling outlets for their product.

“We have encouraged companies to invest in salt processing plants and promote the province’s salt brand name,” she said.

Bà Rịa Salt is well known for its high quality because of its weather and geographical conditions, as well as traditional production techniques used by local farmers. The salt has a mild salty taste and is not bitter or harsh.

Because of its special taste, Bà Rịa Salt is used to make fish sauce in Kiên Giang Province’s Phú Quốc District, which is well-known nationwide. – VNS

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