Mr. Dong who has the largest cashew area in Binh Phuoc currently owns 420 hectares of cashew. In particular, nearly 1/2 of the area has been certified organic under European and American standards.
Mr. Dung Quy Dong is located in Suoi Nhung Hamlet, Tan Hung Commune, Dong Phu District, Binh Phuoc Province. Call him “a scientist” because he wrote a handbook on tree care techniques for farmers. These are all of his practical experiences after more than 30 years of working in agriculture.
Mr. Dong currently owns 420 hectares of cashew trees in Binh Phuoc and Binh Duong. He is considered the person with the largest cashew area in Binh Phuoc province up to now. In particular, nearly half of the cashew area is cultivated under an organic sustainable process.
Mr. Dong’s almost 5-year-old organic cashew farm is very beautiful and healthy, with “10 trees as one”. (Photo: Hong Thuy)
After learning from documents and observing other organic farms, in 2017, Mr. Dong started improving the soil environment by not using any fertilizers or chemicals. Instead, he used microbiological fertilizers recommended in the documents and experience from other farms.
Mr. Dong said that, following the organic process, cashew trees are healthier. The growth and disease resistance of the cashew tree is mainly natural, with fewer pests and diseases, especially its drought tolerance is better than traditional farming.
To build an organic cashew farm, Mr. Dong has invested billions in irrigation systems, including three water reservoirs with reserves of more than 10,000 m3. Alternating among cashew tree lines, he dug small puddles to limit erosion, retain moisture and nutrients for trees, and store water for the dry season.
Organic fertilizers are imported from abroad, combined with green manure composted from grass and green leaves, and a large amount of money is invested in packaging technology, post-harvest storage, transportation…
After 3 years of monitoring and evaluation of Mr. Dong’s organic cashew farm, the EU and the US Department of Agriculture have granted organic certification for the cashew cultivation process in 3 cashew farms of Mr. Dung Quy Dong in Bu Dop and Dong Phu districts, Binh Phuoc province, and Phu Giao district, Binh Duong province.
“In September 2020, the farm was granted organic farming certification for cashew and a global farmer code,” Mr. Dong said.
Currently, Mr. Dong’s total cashew area is 420 hectares, of which 200 hectares are certified organic under European and American standards. In Tan Hung commune (Dong Phu district), Mr. Dong’s 20 hectares of organic cashews are quite beautiful, trees are growing steadily, healthy, and blooming. According to Mr. Dong, the advantages of cashew seeds PN1 are high yield, hard but thin shells, a recovery rate from 29 – 33%, and aromatic and crispy nuts.
Mr. Dong has a beautiful old cashew farm which is cared for under VietGAP standards. (Photo: Hong Thuy)
Mr. Dong affirmed that: “Cashew trees cultivated under traditional methods in Binh Phuoc bring an average yield of about 1.5 tonnes/ha. With good care procedures, the yield can be higher, from 2 tonnes/ha. But my cashew farm can reach 3 tonnes/ha. The whole cultivation process is natural, without chemicals”.
Due to not using insecticides, Mr. Dong’s cashew farm has many insects useful for trees such as ants and bees.
Not only cashew trees, Mr. Dong’s farm also has many other high-value fruits such as durian, avocado, mangosteen, green-skin grapefruit, mango, and tangerine… All are cultivated under VietGAP standards.
“In the old days, Binh Phuoc had rubber as a strategic tree to get rich. The cashew tree is a tree to eliminate poverty. But it’s different now. The cashew tree has affirmed its role for Binh Phuoc’s economy in particular and the whole country in general, so it is necessary to invest more in this tree.
However, not only cashew trees but also many other valuable trees, we need to understand the importance of producing products that meet the standards of hygiene and safety for consumers. Then, we will find out the output and be welcomed”, Mr. Dong said.
“Cashew sector in particular and agriculture in general, to grow strongly, increase the value of products, and have a foothold in large markets such as Europe, the United States, it is necessary to build a concentrated raw material area.
We need to create a link between Farmer – State – Scientist and Enterprises in the whole process from seedlings to production, processing, and consumption. Most importantly, for products to be available in large European and American supermarkets, they must be cultivated and cared for under procedures and certified organic”, Mr. Dung Quy Dong said.