This year, Binh Lieu district, Quang Ninh province has a bumper season of star anise. Local people are busy harvesting to sell to traders exporting to China.
September is the time when the star anise harvest season in Binh Lieu district begins. Throughout the forests and villages, you can smell the fragrance of star anise which has been harvested and dried.
Mr. Duong Chong Nhi – Vice Chairman of the Farmers’ Union of Hoanh Mo commune, Binh Lieu district, said that at this time, people in the commune are focusing on harvesting star anise. This year, the people of Hoanh Mo commune started harvesting at the end of August. Up to now, it is estimated that the whole commune has harvested nearly 100 tons of fresh star anise.
If the prices of star anise remain as good as current, the star anise harvest will be accelerated to complete by mid-September.
Mr. Duong Chong Thim (Na Po village, Hoanh Mo commune) with his family’s star anise forest.
Mr. Nhi said that star anise is a woody plant. The mature tree is about 10-15m high, with a straight, rounded stem, a light gray skin, and 5 to 8-pointed star-shaped fruit.
In Binh Lieu district, star anise has been planted for a long time, concentrated in Dong Van, Dong Tam, Hoanh Mo communes, and Binh Lieu town with a total area of about 7,000 ha. Star anise planted for about 16 years can be available for harvest two crops/year. In particular, the Spring crop is in February and March and another is in September and October.
This is a plant especially suitable for cool climate areas with a large temperature fluctuation between day and night. Therefore, the quality of star anise grown in Binh Lieu is very good. As a result, star anise in Binh Lieu are sold out quickly after harvest and the prices are quite high.
Mr. Duong Chong Thim’s family (Na Po village, Hoanh Mo commune) has about 10 ha of star anise being harvested. This year, the number of trees bearing flowers is less than the previous year. It is estimated that his family has harvested more than four tons, with an income of about 100 million VND.
Like Mr. Thim’s family, Mr. Duong Cam Thin’s family (Na Po village) also has nearly 10 ha of star anise being exploited.
“My family has been planting star anise for a few decades now. Usually, after a year of bumper crop, the trees will produce less in the next year. But on average, my family earns over 100 million VND each year thanks to the star anise forest, ” Mr. Thin said excitedly.
A TREE FOR POVERTY ESCAPE
Mr. Chiu Phuc Thanh, Na Po village head said that the whole village currently has more than 90 households with over 300 people and 100% are ethnic minorities.
After harvesting star anise, people dried them to sell to traders.
In previous years, the lives of people in the village are very difficulties, the number of poor households was high. Thanks to star anise, cinnamon, and the combination of medicinal plants and the development of large timber forests, the economic development has been improved. Local people gradually overcome poverty, even many households get rich in their homeland.
According to statistics of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of Binh Lieu district, one ha of star anise yields an average of 1.5 tons of flowers. By the natural care method, people do not use fertilizer and do not spray. Therefore, star anise in Binh Lieu is very clean. These are the factors that help Binh Lieu star anise to be popular in the market.
The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of Binh Lieu district estimates that in 2022, the production of dried star anise reached 924.4 tons. It is expected that in 2023, the whole district will harvest about 1,000 tons of star anise.
Dried star anise is transported to the gathering point.
Binh Lieu star anise not only brings income and improve the lives of people when implementing the new rural construction program, but also contributes to promoting sustainable values from the forest.
In particular, star anise is a precious material for the production of pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and food. In medicine, star anise essential oil can help keep the body warm, treat abdominal pain, fight flu, relieve pain, and so on.
To improve the value of star anise, over the years, Binh Lieu district has actively implemented solutions. Accordingly, along with continuing to propagate and mobilize star anise farmers to well take care of trees, improve the quality of star anise to ensure the targets, Binh Lieu district also pays attention to improving the quality and value of products from star anise and cinnamon through processing, branding, and towards the development of ecotourism and community./.