An organic green skin and pink flesh grapefruit in Bà Rịa – Vũng Tàu Province. – VNA/VNS Photo Hoàng Nhị
BÀ RỊA – VŨNG TÀU – More and more farmers in the southern province of Bà Rịa – Vũng Tàu are going organic.
They use compost made from manure and earthworm waste and organic pesticides made from ginger, garlic, red chilli, and alcohol. They use traps and other traditional tools to catch pests.
Hồ Hoàng Kha, who has a 10ha green skin and pink flesh grapefruit orchard in Phú Mỹ Town’s Sông Xoài Ward, switched to organic farming on 3ha eight months ago.
Though the yield on the 3ha has decreased slightly to 75 tonnes a year from 80 tonnes, quality and prices are better, he said.
But the fruits fetch VNĐ35,000 (US$1.3) a kilogramme, VNĐ5,000 higher than normal, he said.
He now plans to expand the organic farming method to the remaining 7ha, he said.
Sông Xoài Ward, one of the province’s largest green skin and pink flesh grapefruit growing areas, is well known for the quality of its fruit.
It has established a co-operative with a few members using organic methods.
Hồ Văn Kiệt, director of the co-operative, said members are being taught organic methods to enhance the brand name of the Sông Hoài green skin and pink flesh grapefruit.
“This will open up export opportunities and secure steady prices and outlets.”
The co-operative has more than 130 members and 180ha of orchards out of the commune’s 200ha.
In recent years the province’s Plant Cultivation and Protection Sub-department has been teaching farmers organic farming methods.
Lương Văn Quang was one of the first farmers in Bà Rịa City’s Long Hương Ward to be trained and he has been growing vegetables on his 4,000sq.m field since 2017.
When he first switched to organic farming, he found the vegetables had a longer gestation period and did not look as attractive as those grown using normal methods, he said.
But after a period they began to develop rapidly because the soil had recovered its fertility, and costs became 30 per cent cheaper than that of normal farming methods, he said.
“Organic vegetables are popular with consumers, and so they fetch high prices and demand is steady.”
More organic models
Under a plan to develop organic farming in 2020 - 25 the province will develop more models for growing rice, pepper, cacao, vegetables, and fruits.
This year it plans to implement four of them for farmers to adopt for growing pepper, cacao, vegetables and green skin and pink flesh grapefruit.
The Plant Cultivation and Protection Sub-department admitted organic farming is yet to be done on a large area in the province.
Trần Văn Cường, director of the province Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said to expand the area needs time, human resources and funds to train farmers. – VNS