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Appeal of Vietnam’s southwestern red-flesh jackfruit

This exceptional jackfruit, grown by gardeners in the Southwest of Vietnam, always sells out despite its sky-high price.

 

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Farmer Hai Trang who discovered this type of jackfruit by chance during his visit to a fair in Can Tho in 2003.

 

Like many other fruit trees in Vietnam, jackfruit is a familiar crop that can bear fruit all year round, but peaks in the summer, which is why they are sold widely throughout the year at varying prices depending on type and time.

Jackfruit is not only grown in home gardens but also is a commercial crop, or grown in orchards in many localities. There are dozens of different types of jackfruit such as Thai jackfruit, turmeric jackfruit, marang, honey jackfruit, chewy jackfruit. Presently, Thai jackfruit is sold by gardeners for 9,000-18,000 VND/kg, while native jackfruit in the market is sold for 25,000-30,000 VND/kg. This is considered fairly cheap by gardeners and sellers.

However, there are some gardeners in the Southwest that plant a strange jackfruit variety with red flesh that regularly sells out though it is costly. Mr. Manh Khuong (sale branch of these gardeners) said that he sells this jackfruit wholesale for 90,000 VND/kg, but still does not have enough to supply.

This breed is not commonly grown. In the Southwest, the first gardener and also the most famous jackfruit garden is owned by farmer Hai Trang (Nguyen Minh Trang), in Vi Dong commune (Vi Thuy, Hau Giang) who discovered this type of jackfruit by chance during his visit to a fair in Can Tho in 2003. At that time, he was advised that it was a super-fast fruiting jackfruit which turns ‘burnt brick’ red with thick flesh, is pleasantly sweet, has fragrant taste and is quite crispy once it is ripe.

Mr. Hai Trang decided to buy 50 jackfruit roots for pilot planting around the house. There was only one tree that was pest-resistant, grew swiftly and produced more than a dozen red-fleshed fruits weighing 15-17kg each was kept for propagation.

The remaining 49 jackfruit trees were of common varieties, so they got cut down. Mr Hai Trang has so far propagated and planted a whole jackfruit garden of 3 hectares. Two other gardeners who bought this red jackfruit variety from him are now starting to harvest.

"The root diameter is about 40cm. Some people even tendered up to half a billion VND to own them, but I refused all the offers, I’d rather keep them for breeding, " Mr. Hai Trang said.

Initially, the red-fleshed jackfruit was mainly for wholesale to clean-food store systems in Ho Chi Minh City, then expanded to Da Nang and Hanoi. Three months ago, customers in Russia, Canada, and even Dubai contacted him to order this specialty fruit.

The red fleshed jackfruit is quite large with the average weight of over 10 kg/fruit. They are often picked by gardeners when fully grown. The picked jackfruits after 3-4 days will become ripe and fragrant and it is advised that people should wait two more days before eating, because that is the time when they are most delicious, sweet, and red inside.

“The amount of jackfruit obtained each week can vary. Some weeks there are tons, then there comes days where only about 300kg available from native gardens. On either case, red-fleshed jackfruit is always sold out,” he said.

In the weeks when he collects many of them, Khuong will divide them equally among domestic markets and foreign customers. As for the weeks with less quantity, he gives priority to foreign guests since they often place fixed orders, and shipping schedules at airlines are set. Jackfruits upon request can be sold whole or peeled, but all frozen to transfer to foreign countries.

However, Mr Khuong sometimes has to refuse many orders as the amount of jackfruit purchased from the gardeners is not enough to meet their needs. There should be up to tens of tons for wholesalers, both domestically and for export.

In Hanoi, whole red fleshed jackfruit is sold for up to 250,000 VND/kg. Although its price is four times more expensive than the price of Thai raw jackfruit, the red fleshed jackfruit is still highly sought. Ms. Doan Hai Yen, owner of a fruit store in Thanh Xuan (Hanoi), said that most jackfruits that arrive are just enough to pay back for pre-orders, and there are rarely enough red fleshed jackfruits available for sale at her store.

Mít lạ ở miền Tây, từ khách Nga cho tới Dubai đều tranh nhau mua
 

 

Mít lạ ở miền Tây, từ khách Nga cho tới Dubai đều tranh nhau mua


 

Mít lạ ở miền Tây, từ khách Nga cho tới Dubai đều tranh nhau mua
 

Chau Giang

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