|The custard-apple growing area of Me Lech Cooperative in Co Noi commune, Mai Son district, Son La province covers 150 ha.
The Me Lech cooperative in Mai Son district, Son La province, has 20 households growing custard apple trees on 150 hectares.
The coop members have invested in machinery to plough, water, and spray fertilizer.
Because they are susceptible to pests, custard apple trees must be sprayed with pesticides regularly.
Nguyen Huu Tu, the cooperative’s director, said durian-flavored custard apple, a new product developed by the cooperative and the Vietnam Fruit and Vegetable Institute, is being piloted and promises to be profitable.
The first crop is expected to produce 20-25 tons per hectare and sell for 20-22 USD per kilo. One fruit can weigh 2 kilos.
Tu said, “It’s difficult to grow custard apple trees, so the cooperative has used high-tech, particularly organic farming methods and warm watering, investing about 5,200 USD per hectare. The cooperative has connected with companies and supermarkets to sell its products.”
In recent years, members of the Chieng Hac Safe Agriculture Cooperative in Yen Chau district have paid close attention to choosing the right nutrients for mango trees, irrigating to maintain humidity, and ensuring the quality of mango products for export.
The mango trees grown by the cooperative follow the VietGap standard, with beautiful results, said coop member Ha Van Quan.
“We use the intensive farming techniques for mango trees specified by the VietGAP standards. The reduced height of the trees has made the harvest easier and improved the fruit quality,” according to Quan.
|Me Lech Cooperative has invested in an irrigation system.
Ha Van Son, Director of the Chieng Hac Safe Agriculture Cooperative, said the cooperative has 15 hectares of green-skinned mango trees grown under the VietGap standards, nearly half of which have been granted an export growing area code. Last year the Chieng Hac cooperative exported more than 500 tons of mangoes to China and several Middle Eastern countries.
The cooperative strictly controls the production process in accordance with VietGAP standards to qualify for export.
The cooperative sells to the domestic market, including to large supermarkets, and recently signed contracts with several companies for 500 tons of mango for export to South Korea and Japan.
Son said, “We hold regular meetings with cooperative members to discuss ways to improve product value and design. If the fruit can be guaranteed to be class 1, the price will be double or even triple the regular price.”
Son La province now has more than 700 agricultural, forestry, and fishery cooperatives, 30% of which use water-saving irrigation technology, net houses, greenhouses, and good agricultural production processes.
Nearly 80% of agricultural cooperatives operate in communes with difficult or extremely difficult socio-economic conditions.
New-style cooperatives in Son La have helped households boost their income, and have become a bridge between industry and agriculture and between urban and rural areas, and have transformed the local labor structure.