Growing green-skin grapefruits helps build new rural areas in Ben Tre

(VOVworld) – Ben Tre province has 5,500 hectares under green-skin grapefruit cultivation for domestic consumption and export. Green-skin grapefruits have increased local incomes and boosted new rural development.

Growing green-skin grapefruits helps build new rural areas in Ben Tre - ảnh 1

Green-skin grapefruits are easy to sell and profitable. Major grapefruit growing areas in Ben Tre are Cho Lach, Chau Thanh, Ben Tre city, Mo Cay Bac, Mo Cay Nam, and Giong Trom. In 2005 Mr. Le Van Phong’s family began to grow grapefruits after failing to find buyers for their longans. The National Target Program on new rural development has provided them and other farming households with planting and tending techniques. Phong’s 6 hectares of grapefruits produce 6-8 tons per harvest with each kilogram earning him approximately 2USD. Phong said: “The price of grapefruits has remained steady for 7 years. I earned 15,000 USD last year and this year it will be more than 25,000 USD.”

Growing green-skin grapefruits helps build new rural areas in Ben Tre - ảnh 2

The steady price of grapefruits has guaranteed a stable income for farmers in Ben Tre. Phu Thanh grapefruit cooperative in Chau Thanh district has 94 members with a total grapefruit growing area of 50 hectares. Many members have become well off thanks to this fruit. Dao Van Minh, deputy head of the cooperative, said: “We don’t have to worry about markets for our products because some businesses have bought them all. Because we follow VietGAP standards businesses place a higher price than in the market. What we care about now is improving the quality of our products.”

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has recognized Ben Tre green-skin grapefruits as a national agricultural brand. Businesses say Ben Tre green-skin grapefruits have great potential for export and many of their foreign partners have placed orders for this kind of fruit. Ben Tre green-skin grapefruits have been shipped to Germany, Canada, the Netherlands, Russia, China, France, and Japan. Nguyen Van Thuong, deputy head of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said: “We are advocating the establishment of cooperatives and transferring technology to help farmers improve the quality of their products.”

Green-skin grapefruit growing has been expanded to Mekong Delta provinces, the central highlands, and the southeastern region. It has contributed significantly to the national new rural development program.