Sweet news for Ben Tre farmers

Wednesday, May 02, 2018 08:19

Farmers harvest rambutan in Ben Tre Province’s Cho Lach District. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Liem

The price of off-season rambutan in Ben Tre Province, the largest producer in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta, has increased to a two-year high.

The regular seasonal harvest begins in June every year.

Now traders are buying Rongrien rambutan at orchards at VND60,000 (US$2.6) a kilogramme, VND20,000 up from last month.

Java rambutan has gone up by VND10,000 to VND30,000.

Orchard owners attributed the high prices to the high domestic demand for the fruit, especially on the occasion of Reunification Day (30 April) and Labour Day (May 1) holidays.

Huynh Thi Diem of Ben Tre Province’s Cho Lach District said she recently earned a profit of VND350 million ($15,400) from harvesting 2,500sq.m of Rongrien rambutan and 1,000sq.m of Java rambutan.

Her off-season yield is 2.5 tonnes per 1,000sq.m, she said.

Considering these prices, they would continue to produce off-season rambutan in the coming years, many farmers said.

Bui Thanh Liem, head of the Cho Lach District Agriculture and Rural Development Bureau, said orchard owners should not increase off-season production since it could lead to oversupply.

He warned further that the overexploitation could deplete the rambutan trees of nutrition.

Most of them have yet to recover from the impact of saltwater intrusion in 2016, he said.

Ben Tre has more than 5,000ha of rambutan, according to its Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

More than 40 per cent of the orchards also produce rambutan off-season.

In recent years, local authorities have encouraged farmers to use advanced techniques for this purpose.

The province has major rambutan growing areas in Cho Lach District’s Son Dinh and Vinh Binh communes and Chau Thanh District’s Tien Long Commune.

The fruit is exported to China, Cambodia, the UAE, the EU and other markets. — VNS

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