16/10/2017 10:50 GMT+7 Email Print Like 0

Vinh Oranges in Nghe An Province

For years, Vinh oranges have been known as a specialty of the central province of Nghe An. The oranges were exported to the former Soviet Union and Eastern European countries in the 1980s. With assistance from JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency) in cultivating and processing products since 2016, Con Cuong orange cultivating area has given high economic value to farmers.
Growing oranges according to VietGap standards
In mid-September, 2017 we and a delegation from JICA visited Pha hamlet in Yen Khe commune, Con Cuong district when the locals started harvesting oranges.

According to Kha Thi Tim, Vice Chairman of Con Cuong district, Yen Khe commune and its neighbouring areas used to be the orange cultivation area of Bai Phu farm. In the 1980s, the farm supplied oranges for export to the markets of the Soviet Union and Eastern European countries. The local fruit is famous for its sweet, juicy and delicious taste.

 

The orange farm owned by Tang Ngoc Son in Pha hamlet, Yen Khe commune, Con Cuong district,
Nghe An province meets VietGap standards. Photo: Viet Cuong/VNP 


JICA supports the locals with modern equipment and machines to make products from oranges.
Photo: Viet Cuong/VNP


Locals in Pha hamlet now can make some products from oranges.
Photo: Viet Cuong/VNP

 

In recent years, Con Cuong district has implemented a policy on restoring the area for cultivating orange trees with the application of new technology, turning the fruit tree into a main crop of high economic value. Thanks to the great effort of the farmers, barren hills in the region have turned into orchards of green oranges.

Son, the owner of an orange farm in Pha village, said that during the first years of growing oranges, he faced tremendous difficulties in terms of farming techniques and capital because it takes 5-6 years for an orange tree to give fruit.  “The money earned from the first crop is enough to pay all costs. However, in the next crops, we started earning profit. Last year, my family harvested about 30tonnes of fruit/ha and got a profit of 500 million dong after deducting costs,” said Son.

To facilitate the development of orange tree cultivating areas, the authorities of Con Cuong districts and Nghe An province have invested in the construction of power lines and wells to supply fresh water and regularly organise training courses on applying scientific advances and new techniques to cultivating this fruit tree for farmers.

At present, all local orange farms meet VietGAP standards and farmers use modern irrigation systems with drip irrigation technology and safe microorganisms to fertilize the trees.

Over the past five years, locals in Con Cuong district have planted two varieties of early and late ripening, harvesting from September to February, to meet the high demand during Tet. With prices ranging from 30,000-60,000VND/kg, orange growers can get a profit of 500-700 million dong/1ha/ year.

Realising the great potential from orange trees, the locals have continually expanded the area for growing this fruit tree and applied new technology and have diversified products from oranges.

Making diverse Products from Oranges
JICA has assisted five orange-growing households in Pha village, Yen Khe commune to set up signboards and to buy filtering and blending machines and orange peelers for processing oil and packing products.

Dao Xuan Mui, who is working at the Vietnam Institute for Rural Industry and a JICA project consultant, said that during the first years of cultivating oranges, due to limited cultivation techniques, a large number of oranges did not meet the standards. Then, with the help of experts from the Hanoi University of Sciences and Technique and support from JICA the locals bought machines to extract oil to supply to customers, especially tourists visiting the area.

The family of Thai Ba Truong is one of the households in the region receiving support from JICA to process products from oranges. “With the project from JICA, my family now makes oil from orange peels, earning a higher income than before,” said Truong.






With assistance from JICA, locals in Pha hamlet make diverse products from oranges
which help improve their living standards. Photo: Viet Cuong/VNP


Tourists like products from oranges.Photo: Viet Cuong/VNP


 

Today, the locals in Con Cuong make different products from oranges, including orange peel jam, orange wine, orange juice, orange soap, orange oil and orange syrup which are granted a certificate by the Directorate for Standards, Metrology and Quality. These products are sold at supermarkets and fairs.

With products of high economic value, the locals in Con Cuong continue investing in the tree, creating more jobs for people and opening up new prospects for local tourism products.

 
Story: Ngan Ha - Photos: Viet Cuong