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Mekong Delta farmers banking on longan

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Longan farmers in Đồng Tháp Province’s Châu Thành District, the largest longan cultivation area in the province, are using advanced farming techniques to improve the quality of its exports.

A longan orchard with off-season fruit in Đồng Tháp Province’s Châu Thành District. – VNA/VNS Photo Nguyễn Văn Trí

 

The district has a total of 3,512ha of longan, accounting for 50 per cent of its total fruit planting areas.

In 2016, the Châu Thành longan was granted a collective brand name by the National Office of Intellectual Property.  

Farmers are using bags to cover young longan fruit to protect them from pests, apply good agricultural practices (GAP), and produce off-season longan to sell at a higher price.

The district has more than 100ha of longan planted under Vietnamese or Global GAP standards.

Farmers plant da bò, xuồng cơm vàng and Edor varieties of longan. Edor longan, a Thai longan variety, is planted on a total area of 1,565ha.

Trương Văn Rồi, director of the Châu Thành Longan Co-operative, said that farmers could earn an annual profit of VNĐ400 million (US$17,180) per ha from Edor longan at the price of VNĐ35,000-40,000 a kilo.

Seven- to eight-year-old Edor longan trees have an average yield of 17 - 18 tonnes per ha a year, while Edor longan trees aged more than 10 years have an annual average yield of 25 - 30 tonnes per ha.    

Edor longan has large fruit and small seeds, and is sweet and fragrant. It is not affected by witches’ broom disease, which affects fruiting by causing an abnormal brush-like cluster of shoots arising from or near the same point on branches.

Farmers have also used advanced farming techniques to plant off-season Edor longan and earn higher profits. 

The province’s Department of Science and Technology has provided techniques to preserve fresh Edor longan up to 20-25 days for the An Hòa Clean Agricultural Product Co-operative. 

The district has targeted increasing the Edor longan cultivation area to 2,000ha by 2020.

Farmers have been encouraged to turn ineffective crop and other fruit fields to Edor longan cultivation.

Lê Văn Nghiệp, deputy head of the Châu Thành District People’s Committee, said the district would build infrastructure and improve environmental protection for longan planting areas, and provide farmers with advanced techniques in tending, fertilising and pest management.

For longan exports, farmers have been told to apply VietGAP and Global GAP standards.

The district’s longan has been exported to many countries, including the US, South Korea and Japan.

Eco-tourism and community tourism in longan planting areas are currently being planned on Bạch Viên and An Hòa islets, which have large areas of longan.

 

Source: VNS

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