Farmers to see good profits from red mandarin for Tet

Farmers who grow red mandarins in Dong Thap Province’s Lai Vung District expect to earn a good profit during the Tet (Lunar New Year) festival which falls on February 16. 

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Red mandarin orchards in Dong Thap Province attract tourists. –  Photo Chuong Dai

Quyt hong Lai Vung (Lai Vung red mandarin), a specialty fruit of the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta province, is one of the favourite fruits for the New Year holiday because of its beautiful colour, thin skin, few seeds and special flavour.

Luu Van Rang, who owns a 3,000sq.m of red mandarin trees in Lai Vung, said: “The weather was inclement last year, so the fruit output for Tet is expected to decline by one- third compared to normal years” but the price has been increasing.

The quantity of red mandarin supplied for Tet may decline because of early ripe red mandarins, according to farmers.

Longer months and an early rainy season have caused premature ripening of red mandarins before the lunar New Year, which is the peak harvest season for the fruit. 

The district has harvested more than 30 per cent of red mandarin so far, according to the district’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

In Long Hau Commune, which has about 449ha of red mandarin trees and is the largest red mandarin cultivation area in Lai Vung, many farmers have applied advanced farming techniques and received high yields despite inclement weather.

Luu Van Tin, who has 6,500sq.m of red mandarin in Long Hau, said the use of advanced farming techniques had increased quality and yield despite the inclement weather.

He expects to harvest about 60 tonnes of red mandarin this Tet, up 10 tonnes against last New Year time.  

Last month, traders from HCM City and other Delta provinces offered to purchase in advance red mandarin for Tet at a price of VND22,000-30,000 (US$1- 1.3) a kilo, he said.

With this price, his family can earn a profit of more than VND1 billion ($44,000).

Besides red mandarin, the district has more than 1,000ha of quyt duong (sweet mandarin).

In recent years, many mandarin orchard owners in the district have turned their mandarin orchards into eco-tourism sites. 

Nguyen Van Day who offers tourism services at his 1.5ha orchard with red mandarin, sweet mandarin and orange trees in Long Hau Commune, said he receives about 120-130 visitors a day.

With advanced farming techniques, the trees can bear fruit off season, serving visitors year round.

Located on the Hau River, one tributary of the Mekong River, Lai Vung has fresh water year round and fertile soil suitable for growing red mandarin fruit.

Ornamental red mandarin trees

Red mandarin trees planted in pots as ornamental trees for Tet in the district are in high demand this year. The price for each pot is VND500,000 – VND10 million ($22- 440).  

It takes more than two years to grow a pot of red mandarin. The techniques of growing the trees in pots are complicated, so few orchard owners grow them in pots.

The Red Mandarin Cultivating Co-Operative Team in Lai Vung’s Vinh Thoi Commune has produced about 700 red mandarin pots for the coming Tet, equal to last Tet.

Most of the co-operative team’s red mandarin pots have been purchased in advance by traders and companies.

Luu Van Rang, who is head of the team and has produced about 80 red mandarin pots for Tet, said he sold a large, beautiful red mandarin pot with many fruits at a price of VND8 million ($350).

Mai Quoc Hau, head of the district’s Agriculture and Rural Development Bureau, said the district has encouraged farmers to grow fruit trees, especially red mandarin trees, as ornamental trees for Tet. This will help increase income for farmers, he said.

The district has more than 840ha of red mandarin, mostly in Long Hau, Tan Thanh and Tan Phu communes.

The district expects to supply about 25,000 tonnes of red mandarin for the coming Tet, down nearly 10 tonnes against last Tet because of bad weather, according to the bureau.

Source: VietNamNet

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