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Pineapple price falls, farmers filled with despair

Pineapple farmers in the Mekong delta are filled with despair because fruit price dropped drastically
 

Farmers in the Mekong delta province harvest pineapple (Photo: SGGP)

Farmers in the Mekong delta province harvest pineapple (Photo: SGGP)

The Mekong delta province of Tien Giang, the biggest pineapple area in the region, has expanded the growing land of pineapples in Tan Phuoc district to 16,000 hectares, and is expecting to produce over 260,,000 tons annually for domestic consumption and export.
However, this year, fruit price dropped sharply. Farmer Dang Van Hoa who works in 20 hectares of the fruit in My Phuoc commune looked unhappy because traders proposed buying a ripe first-grade pineapple at VND4,000 - 4,500 while the second-grade and third-grade at VND2,000 - 2,500 and VND1,500 a fruit. With such price, farmers almost have made no profit.
Farmers in districts Go Quao, Vinh Thuan and U Minh Thuong in Kien Giang Province also moan about the miseries of falling price.
Head of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in VInh Thuan District Vo Hoang Nguyen said before the district grows the fruit in the area of over 5,000 hectare yet because of its fluctuating price plus fields of pineapple are not invested by enterprises any more, farmers chopped down the fruit to grow other tree or raise shrimp.
At present, the district has approximately 1,500 hectare of fruit; worse, the area is predicted to shrink if the price continues falling.
Cau Duc pineapple in Hau Giang Province is well-known nationwide yet farmers here also suffered the same fate when price is down drastically. People’s Committee in Hoa Tien commune said farmers grow pineapple in 1,000 hectare accounting for 75 percent of its total agricultural land. The commune’s pineapple farm is the biggest one in the province.
For years, the fruit is the major tree in Hoa Tien Commune; accordingly, residents’ earnings is affected seriously when the fruit price is down.
Explained the falling price, trader Nguyen Van Lam blamed for bumper harvest in the Mekong delta while demand of domestic consumption and export is not high resulting in low price. The supply exceeds the demand. Before, farmers can make profit of VND30 - 50 million a hectare per year, they can not make the same this year even some suffered loss , Lam said.
Deputy director of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in Hau Giang Le Van Doi said the province has 1,800 hectare of pineapple-growing land. Experts warned farmers to apply technique to avoid mass harvest at the same time to curb dropping price. Furthermore, authority encouraged farmers to join in cooperative which firms invest in infrastructure and buy all products.
Thanh Thang Cooperative in Hoa Tien Commune with 75 members cultivates in the area of 160 hectare supply 3,000 tons annually to the market. Participation in cooperative is inevitable trend in the future for farmers.

By NGUYEN THANH - Translated by UYEN PHUONG

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