|The lychee growing area of Le Van Minh in Ea Kar district’s hamlet 8.
Le Van Minh of Ea Kar district’s hamlet 8 has 4 ha of mountain land on which he used to grow coffee and pepper. But the pepper trees died and the price of coffee grew unstable, making his farm unprofitable.
About 8 years ago, he began to grow two varieties of lychees from his hometown in Thanh Ha district, Hai Duong province. One called “U hong” is a delicious early- ripening lychee with a firm rind. Both varieties grow well and give good fruits.
Now all 4 ha of his mountain field have been converted to growing lychees under the VietGap standards.
Minh’s family earns 22,000 to 26,000 USD a year from one ha, ten times as much as from growing coffee.
“If it is a bumper crop, we can harvest 50 tons or more. The VietGap model produces safe high-quality fruits,” said Minh.
Farmers growing lychees in Ea Sar have formed production and distribution co-ops.
Nguyen Van Binh, Chairman and Director of the Thanh Binh Agricultural Service Cooperative in Ea Sar Commune, says the cooperative helps farmers obtain high- quality, reasonably-priced input materials.
The cooperative shows its members how to plant lychees in accordance with the VietGap or GlobalGap standards to meet the requirements of demanding markets like Europe, Japan, the US, and South Korea.
According to Binh, “The co-op finds product outlets in foreign markets. In addition to following the VietGap standards, we use origin tracing and barcodes. We lychee growers want to make our fruit safe for consumers.”
Ho Tan Cu, Head of Ea Kar district’s Agriculture and Rural Development Section, said that due to climate change and unstable prices for local industrial crops, the agricultural sector has persuaded farmers to change crops. About 4,000 ha of land have been converted to fruit trees, one fourth of which are lychees.
According to Cu, lychees in Ea Kar enjoy a climate advantage. A lychee crop there ripens one month earlier than one in Vietnam’s northern region.
Cu said, “We have worked with proccessors, investors, cooperatives, and farmers so that the chain will be tight from production under VietGap or GlobalGap standards to processing and distribution, creating greater profits for farmers.”