Soc Trang enjoys bumper crop, high price of red-fleshed apples

(VOVWORLD) - Farmers in Thuan Hoa commune, Soc Trang province, are happy to have a bumper red-fleshed apple harvest and high productivity thanks to favorable weather. Traders have come to their orchards to buy the fruit at good prices.
Soc Trang enjoys bumper crop, high price of red-fleshed apples - ảnh 1A farmer in Thuan Hoa commune, Chau Thanh district, is harvesting red-fleshed apples. (Photo: VOV)

The red-fleshed apple is a tropical fruit grown mainly in the Mekong Delta. The vitamin C-rich fruit turns bright yellow as it ripens, and is crunchier and sweeter than other types of apples.

Red-fleshed apples are harvested twice a year, the main harvest between June and August and the second harvest between November and December.

Le Hoang Mai of Sa Bau hamlet in Chau Thanh district has 300 apple trees, which produce 200 to 300 kilos of fruit per day, selling a kilo at about 1 USD.

To increase his profits, Mai intercrops red-fleshed apples with a high-yield variety of Thai apple, which allow him to harvest apples all year round.

“Apple trees need to be watered every day. When the apples are small, about half a month old, they should be sprayed with a pesticide. Productivity depends on the weather. If the weather is favorable, we’ll have a high yield. But if the weather has long periods of heat, the productivity will be low. This year’s crop is better than previous years and produces more qualified fruit,” said Mai.

To obtain high yields of red-fleshed apples farmers just need to apply the right pruning, fertilizers, and pesticides. Each tree produces an average of 30-35 kilos.

Tran Hoang Vu, another farmer in Sa Bau hamlet, has been growing red-fleshed apples for 21 years.

He says he has more than 1,200 trees and has invested in a net system to protect 100 trees from insects and other pests.

According to Vu, “When the harvest is over, I cut the trees, leaving a 15-centimeter stump which will sprout a lot of shoots. The 2 or 3 strongest shoots on each stump will be selected for further care for the next crop. During the dry season, it’s important to water and fertilize the trees so they’ll produce more fruit. We’re happy that the price of red-fleshed apples is 17 cents a kilo higher than last year.”

Soc Trang enjoys bumper crop, high price of red-fleshed apples - ảnh 2The 2021 red-fleshed apple crop has high productivity and high prices.(Photo: VOV)

A cooperative has been established in Thuan Hoa commune to link local farmers and ensure a stable output of red-fleshed apples. The co-op’s 16 members have 10 hectares of orchards.

They hope to persuade other farmers to start growing red-fleshed apples in accordance with OCOP standards, said Huynh Thanh Dung, Vice Chairman of Thuan Hoa commune’s People's Committee.

Dung said, “In recent years, the model has produced very high yields, with the average hectare earning 9,800 USD, and has created new jobs. In the future, we’ll persuade farmers with less profitable farms to plant more profitable crops, like apple trees.”

“The communal People's Committee has worked with the district’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to train local people in apple farming techniques, and has developed links between farmers and buyers to ensure skeptical farmers that they will be able to sell all their apples,” said Dung.

Red-fleshed apples have become one of the main crops in Thuan Hoa commune, producing reliable income for local farmers. There are now 24 households growing red-fleshed apple trees.