Part 2: “Golden” time
With the difficult start to introduce Da xanh pomelo to consumers, now, this fruit is in its “golden” time and gaining many encouraging achievements.
“Golden tree” of farmer
Compared to the period prior to year 1999 when Da xanh pomelo trees were sacredly planted in fruit gardens, in 2009, Da xanh pomelo specialized area comes up to 3,284ha separately in Ben Tre province and now is 5,500ha. Leading authority of Ben Tre province together with cooperatives have planned to raise the specialized area to 7,000ha.
The pomelo production is being increased, harvest yield is from 9 to 14 tons/ha/year. If the garden is properly taken care with application of VietGAP and Global GAP technological advances, the products will have higher yield and be sold at higher price.
Income of Da xanh pomelo farmers now is much improved. In early stage, it does not cost much to grow up a Da xanh pomelo garden, only around 30.000 dong/kg. As Dao Van Minh (deputy leader of Phu Thanh cooperating group, Chau Thanh district) sayings, currently, his group has 94 farmers planting Da xanh pomelo specializedly under VietGAP with area of 50ha. In 2012, average price of Da xanh pomelo is only 22.000 dong/kg. In 2013 and 2014, the one increases to 29.000 dong/kg and 35.000 dong/kg correspondingly. Year 2015 and 2016 see more optimistic expectation as at highest time, the figure mounted to 50.000/kg. A 6-year pomelo garden produces an average of 20 tons/year, equals to 700 million VND. After deducting an investment fee of around 100 million dongs, the farmers benefit 600 million dongs.
The above calculation insists that investment in Da xanh pomelo gardens bring about super-benefit to farmers not only in Ben Tre but also in neighboring provinces in which many Da xanh pomelo specialized growing areas are appearing. Therefore, in a near future, Da xanh pomelo will be the major farming product.
Future of Da xanh pomelo
Being favorite fruit in both domestic and foreign markets for the past 15 years, attraction of Da xanh pomelo has never been declined. With the trademark of Huong Mien Tay, Da xanh pomelo having GlobalGAP certificate now presents in markets like US., Europe, China, Canada, Japan… However, the export volume is only 500 tons, equals to 1/20 of the one provided in domestic market by this enterprise.
The figures of Da xanh pomelo exported are not completely accurate due to the fact that the gardeners do not dare to get orders, being afraid of insufficient supply under contract. Another major matter is in respect of quality. More gardeners shift their products to Da xanh pomelo is also a challenge for management in case of improper and uneven quality. Some gardeners tend to keep products in stock, waiting for high price or sell unripe and under-quality fruit in scarce season, which cause bad effect on prestige of Da xanh pomelo.
Da xanh pomelo is being paid much attention by agriculture organizations and authorities. With planning of specialized growing area increase and synchronous development projects in stages of seed selection, nursery, planting, harvesting, preservation, packaging,…, both quality and quantity of Da xanh pomelo gaining VietGAP and GlobalGAP certificate will be much enhanced over the current period.
The increasing yield is both a pleased signal and challenge for the pomelo gardeners and dealers due to competition from exporters of China, Thailand, Malaysia, Cuba… Additionally, the competition also comes from domestic enterprises. So, how to minimize risks and build up differences is the common question of many gardeners and enterprises who are developing this kind of fruit.
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