|Ba Moi grape farm (Photo: Ngoc Anh/VOV5)
Nguyen Van Moi, owner of Ba Moi grape farm, was a pioneer of grape cultivation in Ninh Thuan province in the early 80s.
In 2003, he expanded his grape garden into a farm. The number 3 (ba) in his farm’s name refers to the fact that he is the third child in his family.
He recalled, “I had a rough start. In 2003, heavy rain caused the grapevine trellises to collapse and I lost the entire crop. But I was determined to recover and kept the viticulture going to this day. I harvested one ton of grapes from my first 200-square-meter garden. At that time, a ton of grapes was worth a lot.”
Ninh Thuan is the only province in Vietnam with a climate and soil suitable for growing grapes. Ninh Thuan has the least rainfall in Vietnam and plentiful sunshine which makes the vines grow and produce high quality fruit.
Moi says his 2-hectare grape farm grows 7 grape varieties, 4 of which are grapes for eating and the others are for making wine. He has green grapes from Thailand, red grapes from France, black grapes from the US, and finger grapes from Japan.
In December 2020, Ba Moi green grapes were recognized as a 4-star OCOP product of Ninh Thuan province.
Huynh Thi Tuong Van, sales manager of the Ba Moi Company, said, “Our grapes are grown in accordance with the VietGap standards. One thousand square meters produces 1 to 2 tons of green grapes. If the weather is favorable – without rain but with lots of wind and sunshine – the vines grow well and produce sweet fruit. The Ba Moi Company has links with farmers to buy their products. Our products are sold only in the domestic market, mainly to supermarkets in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.”
Grapes are harvested twice a year, the main crop between March and May and a smaller crop between September and October. Grapes are a valuable crop, 6 to 8 times more expensive per kilo than rice. Depending on the variety they grow, grape growers earn between 11,000 and 13,000 USD per hectare after costs.
According to Nguyen Khac Lam, Deputy Director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, “Grapes are a typical product of Ninh Thuan province, which has 1,200 hectares of grapes under cultivation. Grapes and grape products are among the 69 OCOP products of Ninh Thuan province. Supermarkets and traditional markets nationwide and e-commerce platforms all sell Ninh Thuan grapes.”
|Product packaging at Ba Moi grape farm (Photo: Ngoc Anh/VOV5)
Each year Ba Moi grape farm supplies to the market tens of tons of fresh grapes and grape-based products, including dried grapes, grape nectar, grape wine, and grape syrup.
In addition to growing grapes, Mr. Ba Moi has developed eco-tourism, offering visitors free tours. Visitors are shown the process of grape cultivation and wine making, sample the grapes, and are given free drinks of grape syrup and grape wine.
Thanh Vinh, a tourist from Ho Chi Minh City, said, “The owner is very friendly. He is enthusiastic about showing visitors his vineyard. I feel very welcome visiting his farm and taking photos to record these pleasant moments.”
Combining grape growing and ecotourism is a new direction for grape growers in Ninh Thuan province, and Ba Moi farm is the pioneer, said To Thi Chau, who works on the farm.
“On weekdays, a few dozen people visit. The weekends are crowded, with more than 100 people a day. The tourists are from western provinces, Da Lat, the North, and there are foreign visitors, from Malaysia and Russia,” said Chau.
The farming-ecotourism model has benefited Ba Moi grape farm, which is now part of a tour of Ninh Thuan province that includes Po Klong Garai Cham Tower, Bau Truc Pottery Village, My Nghiep Brocade Weaving Village, and Ba Moi Grape Farm.