A farmer harvests vegetables in Kiên Giang Province’s Châu Thành District. — VNA/VNS Photo Hồng Đạt
KIÊN GIANG — Growing vegetables under VietGap standards has brought high incomes to farmers from co-operatives in the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Kiên Giang.
The Thạnh Hưng Clean Vegetable Co-operative in Châu Thành District’s Thạnh Lộc Commune, for example, has developed clean vegetable growing areas on 5.7ha since September 2017, offering a stable income for 28 of its members.
The cooperative members grow various types of vegetables such as cucumber, bitter melon, lettuce and herbs, and produce about 500 tonnes of fresh vegetables for the market each year.
Danh Chạng, a cooperative member, said his family grows clean vegetables under VietGap standards in a 3,000sq.m garden. The production process follows strict procedures, using biological insecticides with the correct dose, he said.
“This ensures that there is no pesticide residue or other chemicals found in harvested vegetables,” he said.
His family provides 250 kilogrammes of vegetables daily, earning a profit of about VNĐ100 million (US$4,300) a year.
Another member, Danh Xinh, said he has grown vegetables for 12 years. He grows mustard greens, malabar spinach, amaranth and herbs in an 800sq.m garden.
From sowing to harvest time, fertilising and spraying occurs only two times instead of four times in the past.
“Growing safe and clean vegetables brings high yields at low cost,” Xinh said.
His profit has increased by 15-25 per cent compared to traditional farming methods.
Danh Phương, head of the co-operative, said farmers in the co-operative have been provided capital support and training on cultivation methods and the use of organic fertiliser.
After more than two years of operation, the co-operative has taken steps to improve productivity and product quality, and has helped members strictly control water sources for irrigation and use plant-protection drugs correctly.
Many cooperative members have also invested in building automatic irrigation systems and agricultural waste treatment systems.
“Providing clean and safe agricultural products is the trend now. Consumers prefer to buy our vegetables,” Phương said.
To improve their incomes, cooperative members study consumer tastes and requirements and then select vegetable varieties according to market demand, he said.
Thạnh Lộc Commune has the largest vegetable-growing area in the province with a total of 70ha. Most farmers have been growing vegetables for over 40 years, providing fresh vegetables for local wholesale markets. — VNS