Farmers in Cho Lach District earn high income from sapling production

Cho Lach District in Ben Tre Province is famous for producing saplings in the Mekong Delta. Producing saplings is considered the main source of income for local people, and Cho Lach is also the place that supplies various types of high-quality saplings to the market.
Mr. Nguyen Thanh Son, the father of the Thanh Son jackfruit variety, which has become a well-known brand. (Photo: SGGP)

During this time, people in Cho Lach District are busy producing saplings of all kinds to serve the needs of growing new orchards nationwide and exporting to Cambodia and Laos. This year, many sapling production facilities have invested in automatic irrigation systems and new technologies to produce more proactively and increase the number of saplings supplied to the market.

At the sapling production facility of Mr. Nguyen Thanh Son in Vinh Binh Commune of Cho Lach District, dozens of workers are busy performing the grafting stage for about 3,000 Thanh Son jackfruit trees. Mr. Son said that this type of jackfruit was selected by him, grown from local jackfruit seeds, when he accidentally found a large-fruited jackfruit tree with large jackfruit arils and propagated it. After nearly 20 months, the tree gave 2-4 large fruits, and a jackfruit aril weighed more than 200 grams. Currently, this jackfruit variety is favored by domestic and foreign markets. The Southern Fruit Research Institute assessed that the Thanh Son jackfruit variety gives large, thick, and dark-yellow jackfruit arils with mild sweetness, suitable for making dried jackfruit. It is one of the promising domestic jackfruit varieties.

Besides producing the Thanh Son jackfruit variety, Mr. Son also created a dwarf avocado variety that bears fruits sooner than others. After about 15 months of care, the dwarf avocado tree produces large fruits with thick flesh and small seeds. Especially, the most outstanding advantage of this avocado variety is that it adapts well to drought and saltwater intrusion.

Not only Mr. Son, but many people in Cho Lach also created a series of new saplings to supply to markets everywhere. For instance, the Mica star apple variety has just been registered for an exclusive trademark and is currently grown by farmers in the provinces of Ca Mau and Dak Nong. The characteristics of Mica star apples are sweet and fragrant. Ripe star apples have no sap, and the skin is edible. Mr. Le Van Thao's sapling production facility is supplying red-fleshed jackfruit saplings to the market. Jackfruit arils are large, thick, crunchy, and sweet with orange-red color when ripe. On average, each fruit weighs about 10kg. It is expected that by the end of this year, his facility can provide the market with around 300,000 jackfruit saplings.

Besides, farmers in Cho Lach District successfully created a jackfruit variety with beautiful color and high quality and named it Cam Dao (peachy-orange) jackfruit. Ripe jackfruits have no sap, with large and sweet jackfruit arils.

Mr. Bui Thanh Liem, Head of Agriculture and Rural Development Department of Cho Lach District, said that the success rate in sapling production in the district had reached 70 percent, which shows that local farmers have achieved a high technical level.

Nguyen Van Dam, a farmer in Binh Phu Commune in Cang Long District of Tra Vinh Province, bought 350 saplings of the Thanh Son jackfruit variety for VND240,000 per tree to convert one hectare of inefficient rice land to fruit trees. He hopes that the strong points of Thanh Son jackfruit will increase the economic efficiency for his family when the market tends to favor new and high-quality fruit varieties. Meanwhile, Nguyen Dang Day, a farmer in Mo Cay Bac District of Ben Tre Province, bought dwarf avocado saplings because of easy fruiting and short growing time.

According to Mr. Nguyen Thanh Son, the Thanh Son jackfruit variety has become a well-known brand. Every year, his facility provides about 100,000 saplings to the domestic market. "Currently, due to the lack of workers, the facility immediately sells out as many saplings as it produces," Mr. Son said.

Mr. Bui Thanh Liem, Head of Agriculture and Rural Development Department of Cho Lach District, said that the whole district has about 1,500ha of land for sapling production each year, with the participation of about 7,000 households. On average, more than 30 million saplings of all kinds are supplied to the market. That is a "money-making" profession, bringing a stable source of income for many households here.

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