Dương Văn Khá (left) tends his grapefruit orchard in Lương Hòa Commune in Trà Vinh Province. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Hòa
TRÀ VINH — Cultivation of green - skin and pink - flesh grapefruit under Vietnamese good agricultural practices (VietGAP) standards has helped farmers in Lương Hòa Commune in Trà Vinh Province’s Châu Thành District improve income and have stable outlets.
In the commune's Ô Chích A Hamlet, 43 farmers in a cooperative group were granted VietGAP certification last year for their green - skin and pink - flesh grapefruit.
The yield planted under VietGAP standards is 30 per cent higher than that of traditional farming methods and the cost of fertiliser is 40 per cent lower.
Võ Văn Chà, head of the co-operative group, uses organic fertiliser and bioproducts on his grapefruit orchard. VietGAP – quality grapefruit grows better than those planted under traditional farming methods, he said.
After the grapefruit was granted VietGAP certification last year, companies signed contracts to guarantee outlets for the co-operative group.
The group’s grapefruits sell for VNĐ5,000 – 10,000 a kilogramme higher than the market price.
This year, the group's grapefruits sold for VNĐ40,000 (US$1.7) a kilogramme, up VNĐ1,000 against the same period last year.
The group’s members earn an average profit of VNĐ300 million ($1,290) per hectare a year.
Dương Văn Khá, a member of the co-operative group, said he has 1.8ha of grapefruit planted under VietGAP standards, of which 0.9ha offer fruit with a stable yield of 25 tonnes per ha a year.
Lương Hòa Commune has 278ha of green - skin and pink - flesh grapefruit, according to the its People’s Committee.
Huỳnh Kim Chung, deputy chairman of the People’s Committee, said the commune chose green - skin and pink - flesh grapefruit as its outstanding agricultural product for the country’s “One Commune, One Product” programme.
The commune is encouraging farmers to participate in co-operatives or co-operative groups to produce agricultural products under safe and organic standards.
Under Trà Vinh’s agricultural restructuring plan, the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province has encouraged farmers to expand cultivation of the specialty grapefruit, which is in high demand for domestic consumption and exports.
The province targets having 800ha of green - skin and pink - flesh grapefruit planted to VietGAP or Global GAP standards in five districts and Trà Vinh City by 2030. — VNS