BẾN TRE – The Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Bến Tre is expanding the area under organic coconuts to improve value and grow exports.
The country’s largest coconut producer has 13,125ha of organic groves.
Of this, 7,249ha have received organic coconut certification, according to the province Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Farmers have linked up with companies through their co-operatives and co-operative groups to grow organic coconut.
There are seven processing companies that have linked up with 27 co-operatives and 47 co-operative groups that grow on a total of 12,684ha under value chains.
Huỳnh Quang Đức, deputy director of the department, said the development of the value chain for organic coconut is very important since it links up many farmers to create large farming areas for export.
Organic farming has helped farmers earn more since the coconuts fetch higher prices, he said.
Besides, processing companies who link up with organic farmers can secure raw materials for their exports, he said.
Lương Qưới Coconut Co. Ltd and the Bến Tre Import and Export Joint Stock Corporation in the province are two processing companies that have linked up with co-operatives and co-operative groups to establish large coconut growing areas.
Lương Qưới accounts for nearly 5,000ha.
Nguyễn Bảo Trí, deputy director of the company, said the plan is to tie up 10,000ha by 2025 and “pay farmers 15 – 20 per cent higher than the market price.”
The company has encouraged co-operatives and co-operative groups that have the capacity to carry out semi-processing, and would guarantee outlets for those products, he said.
Nguyễn Văn Nhứt, a member of the Thới Thạnh Agricultural Co-operative in Thạnh Phú District, said farmers who participate are taught organic coconut farming techniques.
They could sell at higher prices than market prices while the yields are also higher than traditional methods, he said.
The province makes a range of coconut products for exports like juice, milk, oil, and dried flakes.
It plans to increase the organic farming area for products from mature nuts to more than 20,000ha and for tender coconut for juice to 100ha by 2025.
To expand the organic farming areas, the province will strengthen advocacy to raise farmers’ awareness of the benefits and teach them growing techniques.
It will also further promote linkages between farmers and companies. – VnExpress News
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