Effectively making use of the potential of Hung Yen longan
Hung Yen farmers harvest longan.
NDO – The northern province of Hung Yen boasts a famous specialty of longan, a variety with huge potential and advantages that needs to be preserved and promoted to bring high income to farmers.
Local farmers in Hong Nam commune, Hung Yen city – a large longan growing area in Hung Yen province felt sad by the end of this year’s main longan crop because of declining revenue due to decreasing longan prices.
However, there are also many households growing the ‘duong phen’ longan and still earning high profits because they could sell the fruit at a high price due to the increasing consumers’ demand for this type of longan.
Trinh Viet Vuong from Ne Chau village, Hong Nam commune, Hung Yen city, said that his family has 3,240m2 of land growing the ‘duong phen’ longan. His oldest ‘duong phen’ longan tree was taken from the longan tree in the Hien pagoda about 70 years ago. The ripe ‘duong phen’ longan fruit has a thin skin and slightly yellowish and thick pulp, soft but crunchy, sweet, and has a faint scent of honey.
Because of the special taste of the ‘duong phen’ longan, the supply is not sufficient to meet the needs of customers. This year, despite the complicated developments of the COVID-19 pandemic and the difficulties in consuming longan, Vuong's 1.5 tonnes of ‘duong phen’ longan all sold at high prices of VND85,000 - VND95,000 per kg.
Vuong added that many farmers in Kim Dong, Tien Lu, An Thi and Phu Cu districts wish to buy this variety to plant. However, the “fastidious” variety of the ‘duong phen’ longan requires growers’ to have a thorough understanding of its characteristics in order to have appropriate growing methods and high efficiency.
Vu Hong Ngan, director of the Hung Thinh Agriculture and Fisheries Cooperative in Quang Hung commune, Phu Cu district said that the ‘duong phen’ longan has small fruit, about 120 to 130 fruit per kg. Its appearance looks worse than other varieties of longan but its taste is sweet like honey with a special scent.
At present, very few farmers can grow the ancient ‘duong phen’ longan variety, thus the output of this type of longan is low and all of them are ordered by “gourmet” customers.
The selling price of this type of longan in previous years was about VND120,000 per kg but due to the pandemic and difficulties in transport, the price of ‘duong phen’ longan this year ranges from VND90,000 to VND100,000 per kg, 5 to 10 times higher than that of other longan varieties.
The ripe ‘duong phen’ longan fruit has a thin skin and slightly yellowish and thick pulp, soft but crunchy, sweet, and has a faint scent of honey.
Hung Yen is a large longan growing area, with about 4,800 ha of longan and annual output of about 50,000 tonnes. The main longan varieties are grown in Hung Yen including the Huong Chi longan and Mien Thiet late ripening longan of T1, T2, and T6, also popular varieties of longan grown in many other localities in the country, such as Son La and Hoa Binh.
Therefore, in recent years, Hung Yen province has advised its farmers not to massively expand their longan growing areas but to focus on improving the quality of longan by preserving and promoting precious varieties of longan and increasing longan cultivation area under VietGAP standards.
In the 2012-2015 period, Hung Yen province implemented a project on “Preserving specialty longan varieties and improving the quality and value of products in the Hung Yen longan growing region”.
The project aims to preserve varieties of specialty longan with high quality, suitable to the tastes of consumers and to improve the output, quality and value of products in concentrated longan production areas.
According to a survey by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of Hung Yen province, the planting area of precious longan varieties, including the ‘duong phen’ longan accounts for less than 1% of the total longan area of the province.
Seeing the superior quality and economic value of the ‘duong phen’ longan, a number of farmers in Hung Yen have sought to propagate and grow it, opening up the potential for the expansion of its growing area in the province.
However, many experienced farmers said that that they still face failure in making this type of longan flower and bear fruit because the application of mechanical and chemical techniques stimulating flowering and fruiting is not very effective for this type of longan while it has been successfully applied on many other varieties. Moreover, not all areas in Hung Yen can grow the ‘duong phen’ longan with its delicious and fragrant fruit.
Therefore, Hung Yen longan growers wish to be provided with technical guidance to expand their ‘duong phen’ longan growing area in order to have high economic value and to preserve and promote the values and brands of Hung Yen longan products.
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