Saturday , July 13 2024

Luận Văn pomelo: ‘Fruit of luck and prosperity’

A farmer shows his pomelos to a visitor. Luận Văn pomelos turn from green to red when ripening. — VNA/VNS Photo Trịnh Duy Hưng

HÀ NỘI — Farmers in Luận Văn Village in the central province of Thanh Hóa are busy harvesting pomelos, an integral part of the traditional Tết (Lunar New Year) holiday feast.

Luận Văn pomelos were dubbed “regal fruits” during the Hậu Lê Dynasty era when they were regularly presented as a tribute to the kings.

One characteristic that sets them apart from other varieties is their striking red color, which envelopes not only the peel but also the flesh.

The color has elevated the pomelo to the status of “fruits of luck and prosperity,” linking them in the popular imagination with an auspicious start to the Lunar New Year.

Nguyễn Văn Tư, a farmer in the village who has more than 1,000 pomelo trees in his orchard, anticipates, thanks to the good weather, a bountiful harvest that promises to yield over 10,000 of the fruits.

They were only expected to ripen by the 12th lunar month but traders have been flocking to his orchard since the 10th month to pay an advance.

With a fruit expected to fetch VNĐ85,000-100,000 (US$3.5-$4.1), the orchard could earn up to VNĐ900 million ($37,000).

Close to it is an orchard belonging to Phan Văn Thành, where too the pomelos are ripening. Despite only taking to agriculture recently, he has already had 130 plants with around 2,400 pomelos ready to be picked.

He said the days leading to the 12th month were a tough time for his family since pomelos are prone to falling off the trees then. His family had to work round the clock to ensure they stayed in the trees until traders came to collect them.

“If the pomelos fall on the ground rather than be picked, their prices will diminish considerably.”

In Thọ Xương Commune in Thọ Xuân District, where the village is situated, many farmers grow pomelo plants, some with thousands of trees and making a small fortune from the fruit.

Nguyễn Hữu Dũng, deputy chairman of the Thọ Xuân District People’s Committee, said Luận Văn pomelo has been recognised as a four-star OCOP product by Thanh Hóa Province.

The Thọ Xuân’s authority has drafted a scheme to elevate it to five-star OCOP status and sell it in international markets, he said.

The first step in it involves establishing a hub for pomelo farming and integrating technical advancements into the cultivation process there to boost yields and ensure top quality, he said.

The next is to link up pomelo farming with tourism to attract travelers who like visiting orchards and show them how pomelos are grown and offer them fresh fruits, he said.

With the use of cutting-edge farming techniques, each orchard in the hub is expected to yield up to 20,000 fruits per hectare per crop worth VNĐ2 billion ($82,000), he said.

He also said the Thọ Xuân District administration had successfully taken pomelo plants with desirable characteristics to other communes and obtained a geographical indication for the fruits several years ago.

Now Luận Văn pomelos have made a name for themselves nation-wide and can be found in supermarkets in big cities.

Luận Văn pomelos are grown predominantly in Thọ Xương (35ha) and Xuân Bái (20ha) communes. The average yield in the district is around 400 tonnes per crop. — VNS

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