Vinh Long farmers boost off-season rambutan production
Organic farming techniques are used to increase the off-season production of rambutan in the southern province of Vinh Long.
A farmer in Long Ho District, Vinh Long Province cover roots of rambutan trees to make the tree produce fruit off-season. Photo: Le Hoang Vu.
Few farmers in the southern province of Vinh Long were interested in growing off-season rambutan in the past due to a high production cost and intensive consumption of labour.
However, farmers have accumulated good experiences in dealing with problems that occur during off-season fruit production.
Using organic fertiliser – about 5-7 kg per tree per spray and 2-3 times per tree per year – is among the lessons that local farmers have withdrawn.
Long Ho District with more than 1,500 ha of rambutan is known as the biggest rambutan growing area in Vinh Long Province. This year, off-season rambutan was grown on an area of more than 300 ha.
Tran Nguyen Thanh Vu, a farmer in An Binh Commune, Long Ho District said he grew rambutan for over 26 years.
For the last three years, he applied organic farming to grow rambutan off-season.
Last year, he earned over VND 280 million from his 1 ha of rambutan, he said, adding that organic fertilisers helped enrich soil’s fertility and increase rambutan production.
According to Vinh Long Province’s Agriculture and Rural Development Department, the district has about 2,700 ha of rambutan this year. It expects to get a rambutan production of 8,016 tonnes this year and a revenue of over VND 160 billion as each kilo of rambutan costs about VND 20,000 on average.
According to agriculture experts, in off-season rambutan farming, besides organic fertilisers, farmers must cover the root carefully when the trees complete their growth stage and shift to the reproductive stage.
Farmers also need to timely detect and treat diseases that usually hit rambutan trees during the transition stage.
Another farmer Nguyen Van Tai said he expected to get 10 tonnes of off-season rambutan this year from his 60 rambutan trees. The trees are all 33 years old.
“I plan to harvest the rambutan in lunar new year celebration when I could sell rambutan at good prices,” he said, adding that he intervened the trees’ growth in lunar May and June.
“If I intervened later, the harvesting time will not fall in the lunar new year,” he said.
Dr Le Quoc Dien from the Southern Horticultural Research Institute said that fruit trees aged five years old and more need 20-30 kg of organic fertilisers per tree after every season. The organic fertilisers help maintain soil fertility, make the soil porous, increase soil conductivity and keep the soil moist.
It also helps good microorganisms in the soil thrive and prevent chemical fertilisers from discharging into the environment.
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