09.02.2023, 14:45

Planting the original ripe red fruit, and picking it up with fatigue every day, farmers become billionaires

Strawberry trees bring “sweet fruit season” to farmers in the Tan Thao area, Co Noi commune (Mai Son district, Son La province), helping them earn billions of dollars every year.

Strawberry trees help people get rich

When it comes to Tan Thao or Xuan Que, people immediately think of the wild and poor land, the land of only wild hills, reeds and reeds… Those thoughts are only true for this land for a few decades. Back in the day, the people here carried hoe to the fields in the morning, and brought a bundle of dry firewood to boil in the afternoon, followed by plowing buffaloes.

Lam valley people work hard all year round “selling their face to the land, selling their back to the sky” just to take care of maize and cassava on the upland fields. It’s so hard, but the income is not much, the house that makes a lot is only enough to eat for a year, and the house that is less has to borrow to eat for a few months. And just like that, hunger and poverty followed the whole village for a long time.

Planting the original ripe red fruit, and picking it up with fatigue every day, farmers become billionaires
Mr. Nguyen Van Nam, Director of Xuan Que Strawberry Cooperative, Co Noi Commune (Mai Son, Son La) checks the quality of the fruit before being sold to the market (Photo: Van Ngoc).

Up to now, the unspoiled land has completely “changed skin and meat” thanks to the guidelines and policies of the Party and State on economic development, hunger eradication and poverty reduction, etc. farmer’s mindset. They do not rely on, do not succumb to difficulties, determined to get rich on the land where they were born.

The area of ​​Tan Thao and Xuan Que is now known as the “sweet land” thanks to the strawberry tree. Strawberry trees “immigrated” to this land less than ten years. However, this plant has been planted all over the gentle hillsides, spreading around the houses, replacing the previous maize, sugarcane and cassava plants. Income from strawberries, a few hundred million dongs a year for a few people, a lot of houses for a billion dong.

Mr. Nguyen Van Nam, Director of Xuan Que Strawberry Cooperative, Co Noi Commune (Mai Son, Son La) was one of the first to bring strawberry varieties to this land. Thanks to the strawberry tree, the cooperative established by him and like-minded members have a turnover of over 10 billion dongs a year.

With the desire to get rich, Mr. Nam always wondered, why do people keep accepting life with traditional crops, working forever without food or property? He asked himself, what trees bring income to the people here but meet the needs of people in big cities?

From those concerns about livelihood, Mr. Nam has started to experiment with this new plant variety.

At first, his family only planted a few hundred strawberries interspersed with fruit trees in the garden next to the house. After a period of planting and caring, his family’s strawberry garden was harvested. Seeing that strawberry trees bring high economic efficiency, in 2015, Mr. Nam’s family decided to expand the area to over 6,000m2. That year, strawberries were in season, sold at a high price, and Mr. Nam’s family earned more than 500 million VND. With economic efficiency many times higher than other crops, strawberry plants began to take root in Xuan Que land.($1=24,000 VND)

“Xuan Que village has fertile soil, a mild climate, and everything is green, but traditional agricultural crops like corn and sugarcane are no longer suitable because of low economic efficiency. Since the day the strawberry tree took root, In this land, the economic life of the people is getting better and better,” said Mr. Nam

Realizing the economic efficiency of the strawberry tree, Mr. Nam discussed with his wife and mobilized some brothers in the commune to form a cooperative model (cooperative), bringing strawberries to replace traditional crops. systems such as maize, cassava and together focus on planting some strong fruit trees in the region such as mango, longan, avocado and custard apple. In 2018, he founded Xuan Que Strawberry Cooperative with 12 members with a total cultivation area of ​​more than 8 hectares.

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Strawberries grown in Co Noi commune, Mai Son district, Son La province are large in size, fragrant and sweet (Photo: Van Ngoc).

Improve the quality of strawberries

The establishment of a cooperative means that the area as well as the output of strawberries increases, the products begin to face difficulties in output. To develop the cooperative and promote product consumption, Mr. Nam and his members discussed solutions to improve production efficiency.

The cooperative has invested in a greenhouse system and installed an automatic drip irrigation system. Immediately after installing the automatic drip irrigation system, the members saw outstanding advantages compared to the traditional way of watering. This system can “automate” the process of watering and fertilizing crops. Along with that, the net house system helps the plants not to depend on natural conditions compared to traditional farming methods.

Strawberries are the most susceptible of all fruits. Therefore, the members of the cooperative have to prune every old leaf every day, and the strawberry root must always be cared for and kept in a clean state so that no pests or diseases arise. The cooperative uses biological traps and natural enemies to deal with pests and diseases, completely without using chemicals.

Growing strawberries according to VietGAP standards is more expensive than conventional strawberry cultivation, but the cooperative’s products are still well received by consumers, because to make the sweet and fragrant taste of the strawberry brand is the climate and conditions few places have. Up to now, the cooperative has completed the procedures for traceability stamps, certification of food hygiene and safety with strawberries.

In the process of taking care of strawberries, in order to achieve the best yield and fruit quality, Xuan Que Strawberry Cooperative uses microbial fertilizers, organic fertilizers and combined with manure to take care of the plants (Photo: Van Gem).

Besides, to sell products, cooperative members discussed bringing strawberries down to offer at large supermarkets and clean fruit shops in Hanoi. Initially, the strawberry product did not have a brand name, so it was rejected by customers. Undeterred, in the season, Mr. Nam brought products to Hanoi to offer, gradually gaining the trust of consumers at supermarkets.

Up to now, through the Trade Promotion Conference of Son La province on promoting agricultural products in Hanoi, including strawberries, Xuan Que strawberry cooperative’s products have received many orders from supermarkets. such as Vinmart, Big C… The price of 1kg of strawberries in supermarkets is about 190,000 – 200,000 VND/kg.

“Building a brand is difficult, keeping the brand is even more difficult. With the motto of producing clean agricultural products and product quality as the top goal, Xuan Que Cooperative strengthens its association with training and technical improvement. Production, commitment among members to produce clean, safe, no stimulant drugs; mobilize members to apply science and technology, use technology in production, and at the same time coordinate with the Center District agricultural services and companies open training courses to improve production techniques for members,” said Mr. Nam.

It can be seen that the centralized production association and application of science and technology to strawberry farming of Xuan Que Cooperative have helped save labor, reduce costs, gradually build a brand and reputation for customers. , meeting the requirements of food hygiene and safety in agricultural production. 

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Stitching to close strawberry products before selling them (Photo: Van Ngoc).

After a period of going into production, Xuan Que Cooperative’s activities became more and more public, democratic, member households united and supported each other in production; regularly exchange and share plant care techniques.

In 2023, the total production area of ​​the cooperative is 60 hectares. Besides, the cooperative has a connection in consumption of 30 hectares, estimated at 600 tons of fresh strawberry products and about 200 tons of frozen products. Sales are estimated at over 10 billion VND. The average income of the members of the cooperative is about 1 billion VND/year.

Mr. Pham Ba Tinh, Chairman of the People’s Committee of Co Noi commune, Mai Son district, Son La province said: Realizing the economic value of growing strawberries and understanding the market’s needs, the commune has encouraged people to convert. crop structure, expand strawberry planting area; organizing technical training courses on planting and caring for strawberry plants; organize for people to visit the effective model of strawberry growing in the province.

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In recent years, thanks to the development of strawberries, people in Co Noi commune (Mai Son, Son La) have high and stable income (Photo: Van Ngoc).

At the same time, propagandize and guide strawberry growing households in the growing area to take care of their plants according to VietGAP procedures, well implement food safety regulations and use pesticides according to the “4 right” principle to produce delicious, clean and safe strawberry products, creating the trust of consumers. Up to now, strawberry growing households have linked production and consumption of products. Currently, Tan Thao area has 2 cooperatives including: Tan Thao Cooperative, Xuan Que Cooperative, preparing to establish Huoi Duong Cooperative. 

“With a cultivation area of ​​over 230 hectares, Co Noi commune, Mai Son district is currently the largest strawberry growing area in Son La province. Large specialized farming areas have gradually formed with the participation of hundreds of households and cooperatives. Local authorities have actively supported households to implement the production process, apply high technology and bring new varieties of Korea and Japan into cultivation, especially in the direction of branding. for strawberry products of Mai Son district,” said Mr. Tinh.

According (Dan Viet)