Update: 20:02 | 19/07/2020
(BGO) – “Nghia Phuong custard apple” in Nghia Phuong commune, Luc Nam district, Bac Giang province has recently been a popular name among the customers not only for its signature sweet taste gained by the creative cultivation method of the local farmers but also the specific stamp to ease the product consumption.
Hoang Van Thanh, Head of the Farmers’ Association in Suoi Van village, Nghia Phuong commune started attaching to the custard apple on his homeland dozen of years ago.
Hoang Van Thanh (center) instructs pollination technique to the custard apple.
The dream of getting rich inspired him and his brothers visited Huyen Son – a key commune of custard apple in the same district as well as Quang Ninh province to learn about the intensive cultivation then introduced the crop in the hometown.
Several failures of testing various methods of fertilizing, watering, pruning, stimulating the flower stage...built rich experiences to adjust in the upcoming seasons.
His whole orchards, fields and hill land in Gom mountain of over two mau (old measuring unit, each equals to 3,600 square meters) were used to grow the fruit tree. After that, his family relies all on it and attaches to the old crop by a new cultivation method.
“Every year, I earn benefit of about 300 million VND (over 12,900 USD), three or four times higher than growing rice and vegetables as previous years,” Thanh said.
He also shared about the economic gain to the local villagers to encourage them to follow the model, hence he is elected as Head of the Farmers’ Association in Suoi Van village.
The village is now home to innumerable and extensive orchards of custard apple. All 140 local households develop this fruit, helping them own high buildings, big villas around the green and limitless custard apple gardens.
To maintain a firm stand on Suoi Van land for the fruit, the custard apple cooperating group (later as Nghia Phuong Custard Apple Cooperative) led by Thanh plays a key role.
The farmers here selected many intensive techniques then improved and successfully applied on the local land. Normally, the crop’s flowering stage is on April, harvesting season starts on late July and lasts for over 1 month. However, Suoi Van custard apple can be harvested for longer time, till November.
Together with the farmers’ effort, since 2017, the provincial Farmers’ Association has supported Suoi Van villagers to access and apply VietGAP standard in custard apple cultivation. Accordingly, the custard apple trees are caring strictly in line with the procedure with cultivation record which in turn give uniform sweet fruits at bigger sizes and eye catching appearance as well as ensure food safety.
This method brought higher effectiveness so the locals gradually expand the clean custard apple scale to 50 ha, accounting for over 70 percent of the total area in the village.
Moreover, the Cooperating group was provided with the package named “Nghia Phuong custard apple” and stamp for origin traceability via smart phone. IQC Certification and Inspection Joint Stock Company announced the product “Nghia Phuong custard apple” ensure VietGAP standard in August 2019 and Nghia Phuong Custard Apple Cooperative was established to open chance of professional production to the locals.
When the sweet fruits is named, the Director of the Cooperative and leader of the Farmers’ Association in Suoi Van village have paid due attention to promoting the fruits on mass media while actively introducing them to wider customers at the exhibitions and trade fairs.
Suoi Van village becomes the bright sport for many people to visit and study the custard apple cultivation experience.
The harvest season starts in July in Suoi Van village. The trucks of Hanoi traders follow each others to buy the fruits. The Cooperative’s boxes named “Nghia Phuong custard apple” is always sold easily at higher price of 5 – 10,000 VND per kg.
The Cooperative requests the growers to strictly follow the regulation that the fruits should be harvested one day prior to the ripen time so as to keep their natural sweetness. It is the way the locals in Suoi Van village keep the prestige for their products.
To date, not only people in Suoi Van village but also many households in the communes of Tri Yen, To, Ky Son, Muong Lang ...grow custard apples in line with VietGAP standard and join the Cooperative after seeing its effectiveness.
Nearly 100 percent of the families in Suoi Van village enjoy rich and comfortable lifes. The land of sweet fruit Nghia Phuong becomes bright spot in economic development in the district with annual revenue of 125 billion VND (5.3 million USD).
Cao Minh Ngoc