Saturday , July 13 2024

Prosperity through orange and grapefruit cultivation on lychee land

 

Nguyễn Văn Hữu inspects green-skinned organic grapefruit trees on his farm. — VNA/VNS Photo Đồng Thúy

BẮC GIANG — The proactive application of science and technology into agricultural production, especially the promotion of organic farming, has proven successful for many farmers in Lục Ngạn District, Bắc Giang northern province. 

In the last months of the year, the harvest season begins for thousands of orange and green-skinned grapefruit trees in Nguyễn Văn Hữu’s family orchard. 

During this time, Hữu’s family is busy with traders coming to buy oranges and grapefruit, and visitors coming to take photos and enjoy the fruit at the garden.

Lục Ngạn District is known for its lychee trees, but Hữu has chosen a different direction in agricultural development. 

“Years ago, our family also cultivated lychee trees. However, after many years dedicated to lychee farming, I found that lychee trees had the disadvantage of a short harvesting period and price pressure from traders. Therefore, I was always trying to find an alternative,” Hữu told Việt Nam News Agency. 

“After several trips to Bến Tre and Hòa Bình provinces to learn about citrus trees, I discovered that orange and grapefruit trees are very suitable for the hilly land in Lục Ngạn District.”

In 2011, Hữu and his wife decided to purchase green-skinned grapefruit seedlings from Bến Tre Province for experimental cultivation. 

With proper care and suitable soil, the grapefruit trees grew well. 

He continued to expand the area, planting many different varieties of oranges and grapefruits.

As of now, his family’s farm covers nearly 10 hectares, yielding an average annual harvest of 90 tonnes of green-skinned grapefruits and over 20 tonnes of oranges of all kinds. 

In 2022, his family’s revenue from oranges and grapefruit was about VNĐ5.3 billion (US$217,900), with a profit of VNĐ3.5 billion. 

The revenue in 2023 is expected to reach nearly VNĐ7 billion, with a profit of around VNĐ4 billion.

Hữu has determined that if he wants to develop sustainably, he must adopt organic farming practices. Therefore, all 10 hectares of his family’s oranges and grapefruits have been farmed organically since he decided to switch to growing citrus trees.

“To achieve high-quality fruits, my family has been practicing organic farming since the early years of establishing the farm. We use organic inputs such as buffalo manure, fermented fish and soybean solution to provide organic nutrients that help the plants grow strongly and safely.

“Additionally, we also employ biological measures to protect the plants, such as spreading lime and spraying lime solutions to prevent pests and diseases,” said Hữu.

In recent years, Lục Ngạn District has been actively promoting the development of eco-tourism, rural tourism and orchard tourism.

Hữu’s fruit farm has been selected by the district as an attractive tourist destination.

With the support of local authorities, in 2021, he established the Thanh Hải Agricultural and Commercial Production Cooperative. 

The cooperative consists of 10 members managing a total area of about 40 hectares growing oranges and grapefruits. 

To maximise their advantages, the members have collaborated to build tours, welcoming visitors to experience the lychee, orange and grapefruit seasons.

As for his family’s farm, Hữu has also invested in building garden paths, fish ponds, accommodations, and flower gardens to serve tourism.

In July 2023, Hữu’s family farm was officially recognised by the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Bắc Giang Province as an ecological tourist destination. 

Each year, his fruit farm welcomes around 2,000 visitors. 

With the fruit cultivation model, his farm has provided jobs for 8-14 local workers who earn an average income of VNĐ6 million per person per month.

In 2023, Hữu was honoured by the Central Vietnam Farmers’ Association as an outstanding Vietnamese farmer. — VNS

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