22/07/2017 04:58 GMT+7 Email Print Like 0

Binh Thuan looks to expand VietGap dragon fruit area

Binh Thuan, July 21 (VNA) – A conference discussing ways to expand the area of dragon fruit meeting Vietnamese Good Agricultural Practice (VietGAP) standards in the central Binh Thuan province was held in the locality on July 21. 

According to the provincial People’s Committee, Binh Thuan has more 27,000 ha of dragon fruit (up 135 ha compared to the end of 2016), with a total productivity of 277,000 tonnes per year. The area of dragon fruit meeting VietGAP standards accounts for 28.27 percent or 7,680 ha. 

The VietGap dragon fruit cultivation model in Binh Thuan is practised by over 9,000 local farmers, who have formed 382 cooperatives and farms. 

In the first six months of this year, 75 cooperatives and farmers’ groups were assessed and granted with VietGAP certificates, with a total area of 1,442 ha, including 1,100 ha being re-certified. 

Participants to the conference said the cultivation of dragon fruit in line with VietGAP standards has contributed to changing farming practices of local farmers, thus improving the quality and prestige of the products as well as promoting export. 

However, the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development said the expansion of VietGAP cultivation area is slow, with less farmers seeking re-certification. The department attributed this to the fact that few enterprises are interested in purchasing safe dragon fruits, while local authorities failed to pay adequate attention to promoting the production model. 

Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Pham Van Nam asked the local agriculture sector to cooperate with relevant sectors to raise public awareness of the importance of producing clean farm products, including dragon fruit. 

He also urged the sector to work with the provincial Department of Industry and Trade and the Association of Dragon Fruit to build production chains, and encourage enterprises to cooperate with cooperatives in selling VietGap-dragon fruits. 

Binh Thuan dragon fruit is exported to 20 countries and territories, including demanding markets like the US and Europe. 

The locality aims to have 9,700 ha of dragon fruit meeting VietGAP standards.