|Cao Văn Lùng (left) shows visitors his sáp coconut orchard in Trà Vinh Province’s Cầu Kè District. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Hòa
TRÀ VINH — Another organic coconut area in the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Trà Vinh has achieved international organic standards, according to the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The 220ha organic coconut area, which is owned by 202 farmers in Tân Hòa Commune, has met US Department of Agriculture (USDA) organic standards and European Union organic standards.
The area has been guaranteed outlets by the Asia Coconut Processing Joint Stock Company in Bến Tre Province.
This is the second organic coconut area in the province to be awarded international organic certificates.
In 2018, a 327ha organic coconut area of 348 farmers in Càng Long District’s Đại Phước Commune met USDA organic standards, EU organic standards, and Japanese Agricultural Standards.
The 327ha organic coconut area has been guaranteed outlets by the Bến Tre Import and Export Joint Stock Corporation (Betrimex).
Nguyễn Ngọc Hài, deputy director of the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the organic coconut model links the State, scientists, companies and farmers.
The department has used funds from the province’s Small- and Medium-Sized Company Development Project to give instructions in organic-coconut growing techniques to farmers.
The province’s organic coconut areas are guaranteed by companies and are paid a price of 10-15 per cent higher than the market price, she said.
In Trà Vinh, which is the second largest coconut producer in the delta after Bến Tre Province, more companies are co-operating with farmers to grow organic coconut to international standards.
The Lương Qưới Coconut Co. Ltd in Bến Tre Province is working with farmers to establish a 150ha organic coconut in Trà Vinh City’s Long Đức Commune.
The Trà Vinh-based Trà Bắc Joint Stock Company is also working with farmers to develop 300ha in Tiểu Cần District’s Phú Cần, Hùng Hòa and Ngãi Hùng communes.
Trà Vinh has more than 23,000ha coconut, mostly in Châu Thành, Tiểu Cần and Càng Long districts.
The province has 50 companies and co-operatives that specialise in producing coconut-related products like coconut milk, coconut oil, dried coconut flakes, coal and threads.
In recent years, the provincial authorities have implemented many projects to develop sustainable coconut cultivation, including new coconut varieties and coconut-related products.
The province’s well-known variety is sáp coconut, a specialty with soft and thick pulp, which is grown only in Cầu Kè District, which has the most suitable conditions for the fruit. Sáp coconut has high economic value and is resistant to alum-affected soil and saltwater intrusion.
Cao Văn Lùng, who has planted sáp coconut for 13 years in Cầu Kè’s Hòa Tân Commune, said the coconut is sold at a price of VNĐ90,000-120,000 (US$3.9-5.1) each. It offers a profit of more than 10 times higher than other coconut varieties.
Farmers earn more than VNĐ200 million ($8,750) per hectare of sáp coconut a year, according to farmers.
Sáp coconut is used mostly for desserts like coconut shake, ice cream and jam.
Cầu Kè has more than 1,000ha of sáp coconut. — VNS