Soc Trang Province increases exports of milk star apple to US to 10 tonnes

Saturday, Dec 11, 2021 08:47

Workers pack milk star apples for export in Soc Trang Province’s Ke Sach District.— Photo

The Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Soc Trang has exported four more tonnes of milk star apple to the US taking the total for this year to 10 tonnes.

More farmers in the province's Ke Sach District have begun using organic fertilisers and bio-products under the encouragement of local authorities to meet the strict demands of markets like the US.

In the past they used chemical fertilisers and pesticides, a practice that also affected the quality of the fruits, soil and environment.

The province has instructed farmers to use organic inputs, choose disease-free seedlings and reduce the use of chemicals.

Nguyen Thanh Phuoc, head of the province Plant Protection and Cultivation Sub-department, said farmers who used to grow rice and other crops had switched to fruits.

Most were in Ke Sach and Cu Lao Dung districts.

Milk star apples are easy to grow, do not need much care and start yielding 15 tonnes per hectare annually within 2.5 years. At current export prices of VND30,000 (US$1.3) per kilogramme, they earn VND450 million ($19,500) a year, 10 times what they get from rice, according to Phuoc.

In concentrated farming areas, farmers have contracts with companies, ensuring outlets and steady prices.

Huynh Ngoc Nha, director of the province Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said there were 420ha of orchards with production codes for exports, with fruits like milk star apple, mango, grapefruit, and longan being exported to the EU and US. — VNS

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