Vietnam’s northern province of Hung Yen is famous for its longans, with a total growing area covering 4,300 hectares, of which 3,800 hectares are now being harvested.
In order to enhance the quality and value of longans and facilitate merchandising, the province has adopted intensive farming methods and good agricultural practices (VietGAP), built brands and geographical indications, and stepped up promotion efforts, which have brought substantive benefits to longan farmers.
It was mid-August and the orchard workers of the Quyet Thang Cooperative in Hung Yen province’s eponymous capital city were busy harvesting their more than 30 hectares of longans.
Quyet Thang Cooperative Director Tran Van My said that this year’s favourable weather has helped the cooperative to harvest a bumper crop with an estimated output of 300 tonnes, up 30% from the previous year.
He added that the greatest joy for the cooperative’s members is that their entire growing area has been granted VietGAP certificates and their fruits can now be sold to supermarkets and premium grocer’s at a higher price than in the free market.
Longan harvesting in Hung Yen city
In Khoai Chau district, which has the largest longan growing area in Hung Yen province at 1,600 hectares with an estimated output of 20,000 tonnes, Vice Chairman Hoang Van Tuu said that the farmers have produced a bumper crop this year so their greatest concern now is with merchandising.
But the majority of the longan growing area in Khoai Chau is the late-ripening variety, cultivated under the VietGAP process, whose harvest time begins in late August and lasts until early October, Tuu said.
He added that Khoai Chau’s longans are large, tasty and safe, and are selling at about VND30,000 (US$1.29) per kilogram.
Cooperatives and orchard farmers have already signed agreements with enterprises to provide the fruit to supermarkets, agricultural terminal markets and for export to China and the United States.
The district authorities also helped growers enter the Japanese market through cooperation with Dong Giao Food Export Company.
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