Local authorities advise farmers not to destroy dragon fruit orchards

Local authorities in the Mekong Delta have coordinated with related agencies to advise people not to destroy their dragon fruit orchards because the authorities will have a solution and dragon fruit is the main crop in the province, said Vo Thanh Long, Chairman of the People's Committee of Vinh Cong commune in Long An Province’s Chau Thanh District.


Local authorities advise farmers not to destroy dragon fruit orchards ảnh 1 A dragon fruit orchard in Long An Province (Photo: SGGP)
Today, Ms. Dinh Thi Phuong Khanh, Deputy Director of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of Long An Province, said that dragon fruit prices are falling sharply because they cannot be exported to China. Because of the low selling price which is not enough to cover production costs, many households have cut down and switched to growing yellow apricots and other fruit trees...
As noted, dragon fruit growers in Long An and Tien Giang provinces have currently cut down the area of dragon fruit to switch to fruit trees and some other trees.
Mr. Truong Quoc Phuong in hamlet 7, Vinh Cong Commune in Chau Thanh District has nearly 10 years of growing dragon fruit with an area of more than 10 hectares. The family spent much on fertilizer and medicine for treating diseases on dragon fruit plants, not to mention the cost of hiring workers from VND35,000 an hour to VND 40,000 an hour.
Therefore, he last year destroyed a little area of dragon fruit to grow papaya, the family has so far earned money from selling papaya enough for the family’s meals. This year, he continued destroying nearly one ha of dragon fruit and is expected to grow coconuts. The family still kept the remaining area of dragon fruit with the expectation that the border gates will clear customs soon.
Local authorities advise farmers not to destroy dragon fruit orchards ảnh 2 Farmers destroy  their dragon fruit orchards (Photo: SGGP)
Mr. Vo Thanh Long said that the commune has about 800 hectares of land for growing dragon fruits. Currently, about 10 percent of the area of dragon fruit is cut down, mainly old plants. People cut down and plant other fruit trees such as papaya, green-skinned pomelo, coconut, custard apple, and guava.
Local authorities advise farmers not to destroy dragon fruit orchards ảnh 3 Farmers harvest dragon fruits   (Photo: SGGP)
Local authorities advise farmers not to destroy dragon fruit orchards ảnh 4 Farmers switch to growing grow papaya  (Photo: SGGP)
In the coming time, the locality will orient to grow dragon fruits according to VietGap standard and apply high technology to have a direction to shift exports to other countries such as India, Japan, the US ... not completely dependent on the Chinese market, Chairman Long revealed.
Nguyen Quoc Trinh, Chairman of the Dragon Fruit Association of Long An Province, said that due to the Covid-19 epidemic, the largest dragon fruit consumption market of our country - China, has been frozen for more than a year.
Currently, Chinese consumers still believe in using Vietnamese dragon fruit, but due to the country's "zero Covid" policy, it has been difficult for Vietnamese fruits to be exported to the Chinese market as most of the fruit are exported to China using an unofficial quota.
First-grade dragon fruit is sold at around VND5,000 per kg while other types cost VND3,000 per kg, not enough to cover production costs, growers suffer huge losses.
According to Mr. Trinh only when the Covid-19 epidemic is controlled in both Vietnam and China, will dragon fruit exports recover as before, and growers will make a profit. In the long term, it is necessary to expand the market and reduce heavy dependence on China; at the same time, growers should export to China through an official quota.
In Cho Gao District with the largest area of dragon fruit in the Mekong Delta Province of Tien Giang, farmers also cut down the fruit trees.
Mr. Le Anh Thuy, Chairman of the People's Committee of Thanh Binh Commune, Cho Gao District, said that farmers had stopped cultivating nearly 20 hectares out of a total of nearly 600 hectares of dragon fruit in the commune because the price of dragon fruit could not make up for the production costs. However, mainly old trees have been chopped down.
Vice Chairman of Tien Giang Provincial People's Committee Pham Van Trong said that in the project ‘Developing dragon fruit trees of Tien Giang province until 2025’ in an area of about 9,000 hectares.
Nevertheless, until now, the province's dragon fruit growing area has exceeded the project's target by more than 700 hectares. Local authorities and functional sectors cannot control growers.
Over the past time, the Agriculture and Rural Development departments of Tien Giang and Long An provinces have made great efforts in supporting people to consume dragon fruits.
Currently, responsible departments of these localities are formulating a plan to help people keep dragon fruit gardens as well as switch to high-tech dragon fruit cultivation, VietGap standard with the aim to increase the quality of dragon fruit as well as create favorable output for customers.

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