08.07.2020, 20:59

Son La boosts consumption of longan

Son La boosts consumption of longan
Local farmers harvest early maturing longan at An Phu Cooperative in Song Ma District, Son La Province.

NDO – Despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the northern province of Son La has effectively boosted the consumption and export of mango. The longan harvest season has just begun in the province and is expected to be bustling with various promotional events.

According to the report of the Son La Provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, this year continues to produce a bumper crop of longan while farming areas under VietGAP and GlobalGAP standards have increased.

Son La has a total longan farming area of 17,292 ha with an estimated output of more than 70,400 tonnes. The farming area in Song Ma district is the largest farming area in the province having over 7,000 ha with an estimated volume of 38,000 tonnes.

The province has become the largest longan farming area in Vietnam with almost all farming areas having been converted to producing the high quality and high-yield longan varieties most appreciated by domestic and foreign consumers.

Son La longan has been present in most major shopping centres in Hanoi and at wholesale markets in provinces and cities across the country. The fruit is mainly exported to the Chinese market and other demanding markets such as the US, Japan and Australia.

The entire province has 203 cooperatives and enterprises that plant longan using new methodologies on an area of over 2,500 ha, accounting for over 25% of the province’s longan farming area. Of which, 207 ha has been granted together with 34 farming area codes to export the fruit to the US and Australia and over 2,400 ha has been granted together with 58 farming area codes to export longan to China.

According to the Director of the Son La Provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Thanh Cong, the province has promoted strict management over farming areas, the use of plant protection drugs, and technical processes to meet the higher demand for domestic consumption and export.

Vice Chairman of Son La Provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Quoc Khanh said that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the province is scheduled to hold an online conference on promoting the consumption and export of local longan on August 1 that will connect the Song Ma farming area with the Guangxi and Yunnan provinces in China.

The event is expected to attract the attention of a large number of enterprises and consumers both from the domestic and the Chinese market, Khanh noted.

Regarding the domestic market, Son La province has organised many trade promotion events since 2019 to introduce the local fruit to retailers and consumers in Hanoi and large commercial centres in other provinces. The province has maintained 144 safe supply chains to distribute local agricultural products to large supermarkets and trade centres including VinMart, BigC, Lotte, Hapro, and others.

The Song Ma longan farming area was the place where thousands of longan farmers from Hung Yen province moved to reclaim land and plant longan over 50 years ago. The famous longan variety from Hung Yen was brought to Song Ma for cultivation, turning Song Ma district into the largest longan farming area in the country.

The longan tree has also become the key tree for poverty reduction in Son La, bringing about higher incomes for both Kinh and ethnic minority people.

Song Ma district has held the annual “Song Ma longan festival” since 2017 with the aim of promoting the fruit and attracting investment into the locality.

The Song Ma longan brand was recognised by the National Office of Intellectual Property in 2017 while the Plant Protection Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development granted farming area codes to three enterprises with farming areas of nearly 37 ha in Song Ma district in order to export the fruit.

After three years, the district has 36 cooperatives specialising in planting longan with 705 ha of longan meeting the set standards for coded farming areas.

The selling prices of Song Ma longan from the main crop are expected to range between VND18,000-20,000 per kg while prices of early maturing longan are estimated to reach between VND30,000-50,000 per kg.

Son La province is expected to harvest 70,000 tonnes of longan including 57,000 tonnes to be consumed domestically and 7,900 tonnes to be exported with an export revenue of approximately US$9 million.

With good preparation alongside synchronous measures, this year’s longan crop in Son La is projected to produce good results, bringing happiness to both farmers and distributers.