Farmers getting rich growing strawberries in Son La

(VOVWORLD) - These days farmers in the northern mountainous province of Son La are busy taking care of strawberry beds in bloom and bearing fruit. Strawberries, grown in Son La only recently, have proven profitable and are bringing in hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.
Farmers getting rich growing strawberries in Son La - ảnh 1Son La province has 400 hectares of strawberries, with an estimated output of 3,500 tons. (Photo: VOV)

Nguyen Minh Hieu and his family in Muong Sang commune, Moc Chau district, are turning the soil and covering the green strawberry plants about to bear fruit with nylon netting.

In 2020, Hieu says, his family invested 100,000 USD in a model that combines growing strawberries with experiential tourism.

Given an organic production process and local climate and soil advantages, Son La strawberries have grown well, turning out ripe, plump strawberries of an impressive size and sweetness.

At 7 to 13 USD a kilo, Hieu can earn 175,000 USD from each crop. Hieu said he invested much of the profit from his last crop into upgrading his farm.

“We grow strawberries according to global organic standards. This has increased our productivity and product quality. Once visitors enjoy our strawberries, they will remember the flavor of Moc Chau tourism,” Hieu recalled.

Nguyen Thi Lan, a member of the Xuan Que strawberry cooperative in Co Noi commune, Mai Son district, said strawberries like low temperatures and high humidity. The  harvest runs from the end of December to March.

If the weather is favorable, Xuan Que cooperative can harvest 1 hectare every 2 days. 1 hectare produces about 200 kilos. At 7 to 9 USD per kilo, the cooperative can earn 1,300 USD a day, said Lan.

She said her cooperative this year has 30 hectares and is applying organic standards, including the use of organic fertilizer.

“We plan to grow an overlapping crop. That means that, as soon as the first crop has been growing for 15 days, we plant a second crop. This ensures a steady output, avoiding all the strawberries becoming ripe at the same time,”  said Lan.

Farmers getting rich growing strawberries in Son La - ảnh 2Strawberries are grown in Son La province in line with VietGAP standards and global organic standards. (Photo: VOV)

Son La province has 400 hectares of strawberries, with an estimated output of 3,500 tons of fresh fruit, mainly in Moc Chau, Mai Son, and Yen Chau district. Strawberries are usually planted on gentle hillsides, or around houses, replacing corn and cassava.

To develop a high-tech strawberry growing area with safe products, Son La’s agricultural sector has instructed farmers to adhere to the VietGAP standards and strictly follow regulations on food safety and use of organic pesticides.

Promotion activities have been increased to expand markets and attract businesses in processing, packaging, and sales, said Ha Nhu Hue, Director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Hue said to develop high-value strawberry plants, the provincial Department of Agriculture has provided technical guidance to cooperatives and businesses to produce strawberry products in an organic, safe manner.

“We’ve called on businesses in other provinces and on promotion centers to invest in and provide technical support to farmers, and sign contracts to purchase all of the farmers’ output,” said Hue.