The Tan Thanh Hi-tech Agricultural Co-operative in Long An Province’s Thu Thua District has said it will continue to expand cultivation of custard apple, dragon fruit and Cara Cara orange.
Nguyen Van Tam, its director, said: “Many businesses want to buy dragon fruit and custard apple produced to VietGap and Global standards and meet hygiene and food safety requirements.
“But with farmers not following safety standards, their products sometimes did not meet market needs. Therefore, we established the co-operative to produce safe products for the domestic and export markets through the application of good agricultural practices and technology-based methods.”
Established in Long An Province on April 6 the co-operative has 11 members, a chartered capital of VND9 billion (US$3.9 million) and over 100ha under custard apple, dragon fruit and cara orange.
Le Phong Hai, deputy director of Biotech Technology SolutionR and Consulting Centre, said custard apple, dragon fruit (pink purple) and Cara Cara orange have high demand and fetch VND180,000, VND40,000 and VND60,000 for a kilogramme.
Most Vietnamese fruits are exported to China, he said, adding: “Fastidious markets also have high demand for dragon fruit but require high quality standards. And if the co-operative can grow products meeting their standards, this would be a great stride by it.”
Tam said Long An has advantages in terms of agriculture, supplying to the market large quantities of rice, vegetables and dragon fruits and other fruits.
But due to inconsistent quality, farmers have difficulty finding outlets for their products, he said.
Phan Van Toi, deputy chairman of the Thu Thua District People’s Committee, said acknowledging the situation, the province issued Resolution No. 08 on developing high-tech agriculture and agricultural restructure.
“The Tan Thanh Hi-tech Agricultural Co-operative is the district’s first to apply technology in agricultural production and implement Resolution No. 8,” he said.
Since it has experienced members, the district expects the new co-operative to operate successfully and “create a template for a new co-operative model,” he said.
With sugarcane prices plummeting in recent times, the district has urged the province to amend the zoning plans and use 900ha earmarked for sugarcane to grow other crops, including fruits, to improve farmers’ incomes. — VNS