Farmers in Mang Thit District, Vinh Long province for the last few years have learned about new and strange varieties of longan made by farmer Nguyen Van Phuc in Vam Lich hamlet, Chanh An commune.
In Phuc's longan garden, the colour of the purple longan variety is quite eye-catching, making people both excited and curious to learn about the variety.
Phuc said that on an area of 4 ha, he cultivated many varieties of longan, purple longan was also born from a mutant longan. Realising the beautiful colour, thick aril ( edible flesh), small seeds, he decided to graft and develop this purple longan.
He said that in the first harvest season, the price of purple longan was at VND80,000 per kg.
This time - a busy harvest season of many fruits, so the longan price has decreased but still at a high price of VND50,000 per kg.
Phuc successfully grafted 150 purple longan roots to serve farmers who want to develop this longan variety in the area.
In addition to the fancy purple longan, Phuc's garden also has a new variety of longan for "super fruit" with high economic value. He plans to name it the Western longan.
The outstanding feature of this longan variety is that it is easy to handle flowering, less susceptible to pests and diseases, high yield, on average on an area of 1,000 square meters, new varieties of longan produce 400-500 kg of fruit.
Each bunch of longan here weighs from 3 to 4 kg. The whole garden is currently planting 1,250 "super fruit" longan trees and Phuc is grafting 500 seedlings to replicate and transfer to local farmers.
“Now, I will sell a seedling tree for the same price as 1 kg of longan so that people can replicate and develop this type of longan, "said Phuc.
Phuc said that the new longan was not less than VND80,000 VND per kg.
The new longan variety planted about 6.5 months can give fruit. If the market price is not reasonable, the longan can be unharvested for another 1.5 months without being swollen, berry or cracked.
Sharing about the secret of success with longan, this old farmer said that, in addition to planting techniques, farmers must have enthusiasm and market thinking to be able to develop sustainably with longan.
Phuc pointed out that, to produce a new "super-fruit" variety, it took him many years to combine many varieties of longan with domestic and foreign origin.
After seven times of failure, he could re-select the original longan with outstanding characteristics to retain and develop until today.
According to Phuc, the technique of growing longan is also relatively simple. Farmers convert production from rice land to develop a fruit, provide enough water for the trees, especially in sunny days, focusing on the use of organic fertilisers.
The organic content supplied to the soil must account for over 60 per cent. “The current market favours gardeners using organic fertilizers,” he affirmed that if farmers apply organic fertilizers, longan gardens would surely get high yields.
Phuc's secret to using organic fertilizer is to use probiotics to incubate pangasius for more than three months, then fertilize the longan garden.
In addition, super fruit longan seedlings after being successfully grafted have the highest price of up to VND1,500,000 per seedling.
Phuc added that from 6.5 months to 1 year, super fruit longan can be processed for fruit, but in order to reduce labour and increase productivity, Phuc advises that the trees should be maintained for up to two years.
At the same time, to buy seedlings at a low price, growers should join cooperatives to buy seedlings in bulk at preferential prices.
He also paid much attention to the market factor, especially the export market. "The longan with thick aril, small seeds, and large fruit are 95 per cent qualified for export, so I have to be determined to develop", Phuc said.
Currently, Phuc is building and developing a new variety of longan for "super fruit" on a large scale in the provinces of Dong Nai, Lam Dong, Tay Ninh, and Dak Lak, so that farmers who have a passion for longan would grow together.
Translated by Hien Anh
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