Along with durian, Vietnamese passion fruit is also approved by the Chinese government to be imported into the country’s market. This is considered a good opportunity for Dak Lak passion fruit to have a stable output. However, to exploit this opportunity, Dak Lak’s passion fruit needs a “reorganization” at all stages.
DEVELOPMENT IS STILL WEAK
According to the data of the Department of Crop Production (Department of Agriculture and Rural Development), the whole province has about 1,000 ha of passion fruit, of which the newly planted area is nearly 200 ha; the yield is more than 15.9 tonnes/ha; the output is 14,073 tonnes. Dak Lak is one of the two localities that grow the most passion fruit in the Central Highlands (after Gia Lai). Although the development potential is huge, the area of passion fruit is small, mainly grown by farmers, and has not been instructed on the techniques by specialized agencies.
Krong Nang district is a locality with a large growing area of passion fruit of over 500 ha and output is over 6,000 tonnes/year. Passion fruit here is mostly intercropped with other plants so large-scale growing areas have not yet been formed. The consumption of passion fruit mainly depends on the fruit collecting and packaging facilities. In the area, a facility has been formed for processing and freezing passion fruit products but on a small scale.
Mr. Nguyen Van Dang (Village 6, Phu Xuan Commune, Krong Nang District) said that 3 years ago, he started growing passion fruit for trial on his family’s land. Recognizing that this crop is suitable for the land here, with not much care and low cost but high yields, he decided to expand the area this year. After more than 7 months of care, he has now harvested nearly 8 tonnes with the selling price ranging from 10 – 15 thousand VND/kg. It is expected that his passion fruit garden will be harvested until Lunar November – December of this year. If the yield and price are stable as for now, he will earn big profits. Currently, he is selling passion fruit to purchasing facilities at stable prices.
Mrs. Nguyen Thi Thanh Xuan’s passion fruit garden (Phu Xuan commune, Krong Nang district). (Photo: Internet)
Seeing that passion fruit is having good prices, Mrs. Nguyen Thi Thanh Xuan’s family (Phu Xuan commune, Krong Nang district) started growing. Mrs. Xuan said that passion fruit is easy to grow and quickly recover capital. On average, her family harvests 5 – 6 tonnes per season. Selling now is very easy so she decided to grow more to increase her family’s income.
In Cu Kuin district, people have also started to plant passion fruit in the last two years but the area is small-scale. According to the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of Cu Kuin district, the whole district has more than 20 ha, mainly because people converted from some sick pepper gardens to passion fruit, with an average yield of 50 tonnes/ha. With the current price of over 10,000 VND /kg, income from the passion fruit garden is very high, so the growing area is gradually increasing.
Mr. Le Van Trong Duc (Ea Hu Commune, Cu Kuin District) said that in the past, 1 ha of land was planted with pepper by the family but due to unsuitable soil conditions, it was dying. After that, the family began to plant passion fruit for trial and saw that it was effective, so the family expanded the area to 1 ha; each year, 50 tonnes were harvested at an average selling price of 15,000 – 20,000 VND/kg.
IT IS NECESSARY TO REORGANIZE THE PRODUCTION
One of the reasons why passion fruit trees in Dak Lak have not developed strongly despite the huge potential is that the price of passion fruit in the market is not stable, and farmers do not update the price information timely, mainly selling through intermediaries. On the other hand, in the province, there are no enterprises investing in the construction of a passion fruit processing plant with advanced and modern technology, but mostly rough processing, so the value is low.
Mr. Le Van Trong Duc (Ea Hu Commune, Cu Kuin District) is taking care of his passion fruit garden. (Photo: Internet)
Mr. Tran Son Tung, Deputy Head of the Agriculture and Rural Development Department of Krong Nang district, said that in the past time, the District People’s Committee has directed the People’s Committees of communes, towns, and agricultural sectors to strengthen the management and propaganda on growing area codes, guidelines on the use of pesticides to meet the requirements of agricultural exports. At the same time, they provide the most visual training materials for cooperatives and farmers to apply in the production process.
Currently, China has allowed official imports which have opened up huge opportunities for passion fruit to develop sustainably in the area, bringing high income for people. Accordingly, in the coming time, the district Department of Agriculture and Rural Development will continue to focus on propaganda, organizing many intensive training courses, and raising awareness for cooperatives and households to develop areas of passion fruit for sustainable export. In addition, the Department is also reviewing large-area crops and concentrated planting to consider supporting people in granting growing area codes.
Also for the preparation of passion fruit material area for official export to China, Cu Kuin district has issued a plan to organize production and link consumption of agricultural products, including passion fruit, with an area of 200 ha. The task of the agricultural sector in Cu Kuin district is now regional planning and development to form a connection among farmers. At the same time, they organize training for farmers to understand the farming process following the standards of importing countries and find enterprises with sufficient functions and capacity to coordinate with farmers to bring the passion fruit to officially export.
According to the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, the General Department of Customs of China has agreed to pilot the import of Vietnamese passion fruit from July 2022. Based on the agreement on plant quarantine requirements, the General Department of Customs of China allowed imports of Vietnamese passion fruit through 7 border gates in Guangxi Province (China), including Huu Nghi Quan, Po Chai, Bang Tuong Railway Station, Bang Tuong, Dong Hung, Long Bang. and Thuy Khau.
Regarding the general conditions, passion fruit must come from areas with growing area codes, and packing codes and ensure no pests, meet food safety requirements. China strictly checks the pesticide residues and pests on passion fruit. Therefore, in order for passion fruit to export sustainably, farmers and businesses need to comply with the standards set by China. Local authorities who want to develop passion fruit need to reorganize production to be eligible to build growing area codes.
Passion fruit is currently among the top 10 fruit with the highest export value in 2021. In 2022, Vietnam’s production of passion fruit is estimated at 135,000 tonnes, mostly grown in Gia Lai and Dak Lak.