In addition to the strong industrial development, Ben Luc district is also home to the large lime-growing area of Long An province. Over the years, lime trees have brought high value and profit to farmers.
GROWING LIME BY HIGH-TECH APPLICATION
To meet the market demand, increase competitiveness, and serve exports, Ben Luc district (Long An province) is determined to develop a high-tech lime growing area, aiming to increase the number of exports to the European market.
Lime of Ben Luc district (Long An province) will be exported more to the EU market. (Photo: Internet)
IMPROVE QUALITY, VALUE, and BRAND NAME
Unlike the industrial development communes with industrial zones and clusters crowded with workers and laborers, coming communes: Thanh Hoa, Thanh Loi, Binh Duc, and Luong Binh, it is a purely rural area. The two sides of the road are covered with large lime fields.
The growing area of lime in Ben Luc district is 7,137 ha, of which seedless lime is more than 6,564 ha, exporting nearly 90% to countries in the region, mainly to the Middle East market.
Lime trees in the district were planted and increased rapidly in Thanh Hoa, Thanh Loi, Luong Hoa, Luong Binh, and Binh Duc. Over the years, lime has been highly profitable and fairly stable for farmers.
“The price of lime depends on each year and the quality and productivity are also based on the age of the lime tree. But on average each year, 1 ha of lime gives a profit of nearly 100 million VND. Thanks to lime, in the “remote” land of the district such as Thanh Hoa, Thanh Loi, many farmers have become “rich men”, building big houses ” – said Mr. Nguyen Van Phuong – a lime grower in Thanh Hoa commune.
Meanwhile, Ms. Nguyen Thi Ly, a resident of Thanh Loi commune, has 2 ha of lime, said that: Previously in the region, the growing area of sugarcane accounted for a high proportion. However, due to many difficulties, sugarcane growers lost continually.
To improve the value, and quality and increase the competitiveness of products in the market, and export, farmers produce in the direction of high technology application on lime trees. Over 3 years of implementation, up to now, the district has 1,200 ha of lime applied GAP production technology. The harvested product is eligible for export to the EU market.
Facing that situation, in recent years, the majority of farmers have switched from sugarcane to lime. It is desirable for the State to have mechanisms and policies to ensure that lime trees have stable output, and bring high value. Because farmers are afraid of having a good crop but losing prices or products without output causing anxiety about what trees to grow, and what animal to raise for high efficiency.
High-tech production models are allocated annual support capital and assigned to the Agriculture sector for implementation.
Specifically, 318 ha of lime cultivation in the district is supported with a budget of nearly 1.7 billion VND; 10 fields of integrated pest and disease prevention on lime trees with 160 ha adjacent to 6 communes with a budget of nearly 1.6 billion VND; 27 models of irrigation systems are saved with a budget of 748 million VND.
10 models of integrated planting of lime are supported with microbial organic fertilizers, biodiversity pesticides, wages for pruning branches and equipped with knowledge of integrated pest management and farming techniques in the care phase.
As a result, the model of lime cultivation reduces the number of chemical spraying, saving fertilizer, and higher productivity and profit. Training for farmers is held with a budget of nearly 700 million VND.
Head of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of Ben Luc District – Mr. Le Van Nam said: “The total funding of the district has been more than 4.4 billion VND. Particularly for investment in technical infrastructure for lime growing areas such as dredging the system of canals; maintenance and repair of bridges and roads for production with a budget of nearly 38 billion VND from the medium-term capital of the province. Thereby, we are creating favorable conditions for the production and transportation of agricultural products “.
BY 2025, THE DISTRICT WILL HAVE 2,700 HA OF HIGH-TECH LIME CULTIVATION
Ben Luc identified the development of high-tech agriculture on lime trees as the inevitable direction (about 200 ha certified). Accordingly, the district coordinates with the Department of Science and Technology to register geographical indications for Ben Luc lime and direct the production to ensure the conditions for export and integration into the world market.
Over the implementation period, the directions of the lime exporting companies are clear in building a brand name.
For many years, we have been directly guiding farmers in cultivation techniques, changing the traditional way of production, most of the limes are GlobalGAP or GAP qualified for export to the EU market.
The price of lime grown under a high-tech application model is higher from 3,000-5,000 VND/kg.
Currently, Ben Luc district (Long An province) has 1,200 ha of limes grown under high-tech (Photo: Internet)
Besides, the export of lime still has some difficulties. It is the market that purchases lime grown under high-tech has not expanded much every year; no contract has been signed between buyers and producers, so they have not enjoyed support in production linkage policies as decided by the People’s Committee of Long An province.
In addition, climate change, drought, salinization, and water shortage have a significant impact on production. As in 2020, drought and prolonged salinization caused damage, affecting 30-70% of nearly 2,000 ha, including many ha of lime cultivation under high technology.
According to the Vice Chairman of the People’s Committee of Ben Luc District – Mr. Le Thanh Ut, there are not many enterprises investing in lime growing areas to contract for consumption and processing.
Accordingly, the majority are selling fresh lime so the value added is not high. Cooperative groups and cooperatives are ineffective due to a lack of orientation, lack of capital, direction, and capacity to meet the requirements.
On the other hand, the State supports the high-tech application in production from many sources such as types of lime, and economical irrigation systems but only some models. The export to the EU market of the Ha Lan Lime Company has not expanded much, in case of the favorable condition, the quantity may reach about 200 ha per year. The selling price of high-tech lime is currently higher than outside but there are no contracts to cover consumption.
In order for the lime production area in the district to bring higher value, the district recommends departments soon implement support policies on growing area codes, geographical indications, and construction of lime area infrastructure for agricultural production with high-tech application programs.
In addition, the district recommended the province consider a plan and large measures to support farmers to cope with climate change in the long term, without greatly affecting production. The province will soon start construction for irrigation and water supply works that have been identified, allocate capital, ensure meeting the demand for water supply, and call on businesses to invest in post-harvest lime processing, which adds higher value for farmers.
According to the Head of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development – Mr. Le Van Nam, the district currently has 1,200 ha of high-tech limes. Implementing the Resolution of the 11th Party Congress of Ben Luc District, period 2020-2025, the district strives to have an additional 1,500 ha of lime grown under high-tech by 2025.
The district identified the development of high-tech lime mainly from two main sources, the Ha Lan Lime Company and the models implemented by the Agriculture sector. In terms of funding for implementation support, it is necessary to integrate capital sources on the basis of sustainable lime development projects funded by Ha Lan Lime Company, provincial and district support capital, project capital, and other capital sources.
To improve value, and quality and increase competitiveness, farmers should produce under high-tech applications on lime trees. Over 3 years of implementation, up to now, Ben Luc district (Long An province) has 1,200 ha of high-tech lime grown under GAP. The harvested product is eligible for export to the EU market…