Hòa Lộc mango trees planted to VietGAP standards in Hòn Đất District’s Thổ Sơn Commune in Kiên Giang Province. – VNA/VNS Photo Hồng Đạt
KIÊN GIANG – The cultivation of Hòa Lộc mango to Vietnamese good agricultural practices (VietGAP) standards provides steady outlets and incomes for farmers in Thổ Sơn Commune in Kiên Giang Province.
The commune in Hòn Đất District is the largest mango producer in the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province, with its weather and soil especially suitable for growing mangoes, especially the specialty Hòa Lộc variety.
It has set up the Hòn Đất Hòa Lộc Mango Co-operative to promote the cultivation of VietGAP quality mangoes and link up with companies to secure outlets.
Nguyễn Thành Đô is a member of the co-operative and has been growing VietGAP quality mangoes in the commune’s Hòn Me Hamlet in recent years.
The cultivation and post-harvest processes take time and labour but ensure quality and high prices, he said.
Farmers who grow VietGAP-quality mangoes strictly follow standards laid down for fertiliser and chemical use and cover unripe fruits with plastic bags to protect them from pests.
After harvest, the mangoes are classified and labelled with a QR code for origin tracing. Consumers can know the growing process and place and contact address by scanning the code.
VietGAP quality Hòa Lộc mango cultivation offers them an income of VNĐ300 million (US$12,800) per hectare a year, according to co-operative members.
Nguyễn Thành Thái, director of the co-operative, said members harvest the fruits twice a year, each time getting a yield of four tonnes per hectare.
The fruits fetch steady prices since they are preferred by consumers for their high quality, he said.
The co-operative sells to clean agricultural produce shops in Rạch Giá City and Phú Quốc District and An Hữu Market in Tiền Giang Province’s Cái Bè District.
Trần Xuân Nghi, chairman of the Hòn Đất District Farmers Association, said the association had asked the province Department of Science and Industry for support to create a collective brand name for Hòn Đất Hòa Lộc Mango.
This would help promote the market and improve the value of the fruit, he said.
Thổ Sơn grows more than 360ha of various varieties of mangoes.
The commune has determined that mango, rice and shrimp are its three agricultural products with high development potential.
Many farmers in the commune with unproductive rice fields and growing fruits and other crops are switching to Hòa Lộc and other mango varieties, according to the local People’s Committee.
Nguyễn Văn Đức of Hòn Me Hamlet got a soft loan to grow Hòa Lộc mango trees in his orchard, and has earned high incomes. After the success of the first harvests, he planted more trees, he said.
Farmers in the commune have adopted advanced farming techniques to grow mangoes in the off-season to earn higher prices, especially during festivals like Tết (Lunar New Year). – VNS