Phu Long vegetable getting ready for Tet festive season

Update: 12/16/2013

BTO - At the beginning of December, vegetables in Phu Long townlet (Ham Thuan Bac district) are growing in preparation for coming Tet holiday. In the recent years, Phu Long town has become a familiar address for supplying a big volume of vegetable to consumers not only inside the province but also outside provinces such as Dong Nai, Ninh Thuan, Ba Ria-Vung Tau and Ho Chi Minh City.

According to horticulturists, in order to catch up with the coming lunar New Year, cauliflower will be seeded about 2 months before lunar New Year, or at the early November in lunar calendar, whereas, the other kinds of vegetable namely: water-mint, cabbage, onion, etc remain over one month only. Unlike other plants, vegetables are cultivated all-year-round to make it available in everyday markets.

Mr. Ho Van Cong, a vegetable-grower in Phu Truong hamlet said that he yearly earns an average income about VND 100 million (after deducting all costs) from his total cultivation land of 1,500 square meters. He revealed that the vegetable price is fairy good at this period. For instance, water mint can surge up to VND 60,000 – VND 70,000 per kg, more expensive than dragon fruit even. Cauliflower’s price at VND 10,000 per bud becomes normal. He was investing in planting over 1000 buds of cauliflower, not to mention other vegetables, on the area of 1.3 perches for Tet holiday, with the forecasted earnings of VND 20 million. Mr. Cong is one of farmers who joined “safe vegetable cultivation” group in Phu Cong shared that: After joining this group, all group members are equipped with much experience and knowledge on vegetable-cultivation, especially the awareness of using fertilizers and chemicals are much raised.  “In the past, we often used chemic admixture to turn the vegetable more green and fresh, making it easy to sell but not any longer because of the influence of customers’ health” - said Mr. Cong honestly.

To remain “safe vegetable” brand, most farmers have reduced their times of spraying chemicals by 1 or 2 times per crop, particularly at the moment of 10 days before harvest. However, there is also anxiety arisen from farmers that although the production cost decreases, farmers need to spend more time on caring, normally from 3-5 days per perch longer while these vegetable’s prices still retain unchanged  since it can not penetrate into the supermarket, just traditional market only. Moreover, vegetable traders, for their profit, do not give priority to “safe vegetable”, and make its prices the same as normal vegetable’s price. Thus, the willing of joining “safe vegetable cultivation” group shows hesitated at all.

Mr. Le Van Sinh, leader of “safe vegetable cultivation” group in Phu Truong ward stated that: there are 28 farmer households enrolled to safe vegetable group among 70. Everyday, he feels upset when witnessing farmers using overdosed chemicals on vegetable. Sometime, farmers spay chemicals only 1 day before cutting off the vegetable and selling to consumers,” said Mr. Sinh.

According to Mr. Vo Quang Minh, chairman of Phu Long Farmers’ Association: The locality have been invested 22 hectares of safe vegetable cultivation by the provincial authorities since 2009. So far, the daily productivity of vegetable reaches nearly 15 tons in serve for local and outside the province. Despite a variety of support in technology via media, growers have not yet been able to build up a brand of safe vegetable. Although there are 100 farmers registered in the safe vegetable cultivation group, this number appears as a half of the total province account. Mr. Minh shares the main difficulty is consumption. The difficulty in production and no potential consumption will trouble the development. Thus, the authorities should better invest in facilities, consumption assistance and production procedures to extend the areas of safe vegetable. Meanwhile, it should form the connection between vegetable-consumption-enterprises with farmers or attach certified stamp on each vegetable to develop its brand and market.

My Thien (Source: Binh Thuan Newspaper)

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