There are no barren cassava and maize fields as seen in the past on hillsides in Mo Cong hamlet in Son La province. The hills are now covered with passion fruit, bringing growers billions of dong a year.
On pre-Tet days, Thao A Ho in Mo Cong hamlet was still busy working in his field taking care of passion fruit trees. The work took him only half a day, while he spent the other half going to market to do shopping for Tet.
According to Ho, Mo Cong’s people were happy as they have collected big money from yellow passion fruit sale. Ho has earned VND100 million, while households which have larger growing areas could earn up to VND500 million.
In the past, Ho grew cassava on an area of two hectares, which bring little money. Later, he shifted to grow purple passion fruit, but the price of this fruit has always been low in the last years. He last year sold purple passion fruit at VND2,000-3,000 per kilogram only.
He tried to grow 400 yellow passion fruit trees on an area of 0.5 hectares. Though he harvested 10 tons of this fruit, he still could earn big money thanks to the high price. So, he and his family members had a comfortable Tet holiday.
The passion fruit is farmed in accordance with VietGAP standards. An enterprise provides standard seeds, fertilizer, bioproducts and technical officers to farmers and commits to collect all passion fruit output if farmers strictly observe their instructions.
Farmers don’t have to make high investments to grow passion fruit.
“The passion fruit tree can bring higher profit than maize, and it is not a strenuous work,” he said.
Also according to Ho, there are tens of households in the hamlet cooperating with the enterprise to grow yellow passion fruit.
Sung A Dinh, 28, has become a DONG? millionaire in the mountainous village. Dinh and his wife had two hectares of sweet passion fruit area which gave output of 50 tons. With the selling price of VND15,000-26,000 per kilogram, he collected VND800 million and made a profit of VND500 million.
Nguyen Thach Tung Linh, director of the passion fruit company in Moc Chau, Son La, said he began cooperating with local farmers to grow passion fruit in late 2019 and began harvesting in 2020. The total growing area has reached 100 hectares.
Linh found sweet passion fruit in 2017 when he implemented a project with a Taiwanese partner. At first, he developed five hectares of passion fruit for export to China. However, the products could only be exported across border gates, not through official channels. Therefore, he decided to focus on the domestic market.
The export of Vietnamese fruit and vegetables is worth hundreds of millions of US dollars each year but is so far impeded by the lack of appropriate preservation technology.
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