Delta farmers face fruit price decline

Saturday, Jul 07, 2018 08:54

Farmers in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta are facing a sharp decline in fruit prices as the delta is in the peak harvest season. — VNA/VNS Photo Xuan Du

Farmers in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta are suffering losses during the peak harvest season as prices of fruit have declined dramatically.

In Dong Thap Province, the price of longan sold at orchards has fallen to VND10,000 (US 4.4 cents) a kilo compared to VND30,000 ($1.3) early this year.

“At this price, farmers can not recover production costs," said Nguyen Ngoc Viet, deputy of the Chau Thanh District Agriculture and Rural Development Bureau in Dong Thap.

The delta, the country’s largest fruit producer, is in the peak fruit harvest season and is faced with an oversupply.

The price of guava bought by traders in orchards has fallen under VND1,000 a kilo compared to VND9,000 – 10,000 a kilo during the same period of previous years.

Guava farmers have suffered a loss of VND60 million ($2,600) per ha, according to farmers.

Nguyen Hong Chau, who has intercropped 500 guava trees in his longan orchard in Dong Thap’s Chau Thanh District, has cut down many guava trees because of low prices.

“If the price is stable, I can continue planting guava trees for one or two crops, but at this price I have to cut down my guava trees.”

Nguyen Van Ba in Dong Thap’s Chau Thanh District said he has cultivated fruit for more than 10 years, but has never seen the price as low as it is now.

In Can Tho Province, the price of Thai jackfruit has dropped from VND45,000 – 50,000 a kilo in late February to VND15,000 – 17,000 a kilo now.

In U Minh Thuong District, which is Kien Giang Province’s largest banana planting area, the price of banana has fallen to VND2,000 per bunch compared to VND4,000 – 6,000 during the same period in previous years.

Nguyen Van Phuong, who has 4ha of banana in U Minh Thuong District, said early this year he earned a profit of VND80 million a month but the price of bananas and banana blossoms are half of what they were last year.

After deducting all production costs, he has been left with low profits.

In U Minh Thuong, many rice farmers have switched to plant banana, sugarcane and pineapple in recent years because they offered high profits.

Nguyen Van Tam, director of the Kien Giang Province Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, told Nguoi Lao Dong (The Labourer) newspaper that most agricultural products like sugarcane and pineapple in the province were facing a sharp price decline and it was difficult to find outlets.

Kien Giang does not have a factory to process agricultural produce, so its farmers have to sell fruit directly to traders, which has contributed to the decline in price.

However, the delta’s specialty fruits which are planted under Vietnamese or global Good Agricultural Practice standards are in high demand and exported to several markets.

Dragon fruit, longan, mango, durian and watermelon are the country’s major fruit exports.

The country exported about US$1.7 billion of vegetables and fruit in the first five months of the year, up 19.7 per cent year-on-year, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade. — VNS

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