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Famers in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Dong Thap have switched to growing Thai (Thai) jackfruit on around 1,000ha from other fruits and low-yield rice since it fetches a higher income.

It includes 200ha in Chau Thanh District and 100ha in Thap Muoi District.

Nguyen Van Cong, a farmer in Tháp Muoi District’s My Quy Commune, said he switched to growing Thai jackfruit on his 2,000sq.m of low-yield paddies three years ago.

Jackfruit trees could be planted closer to each other than other fruit trees, and so around 1,000 trees could be planted on one hectare, he said.

“Growing jackfruits … helps my family earn a better income.”

The income from three jackfruit trees is equivalent to that of 1,000sq.m of rice, he explained.

On average a tree produces two to three fruits of four to nine kilogrammes per crop, and so he harvests 40-50 tonnes per hectare per year, he said.

Farmers earn an average of VND500 million (US$21,500) a year if the price of jackfruit is VND10,000 ($0.43) per kilogramme. Sometimes the price goes up to VND50,000-60,000 ($2.2-2.6).

Nguyen Van Hai, a farmer in Thap Muoi District’s Phu Dien Commune, said he had a hectare of paddy land and switched to Thai jackfruits.

“The fruits can be harvested three or four times a month.”

Each time he harvests 500-700kg.

His orchard thus fetches him VND600 million ($25,800) a year since the price is VND17,000-20,000 ($0.75-0.85) per kilo now. 

In recent years farmers in the delta region growing Thai jackfruit have found exports lucrative because of the high demand for the fruit overseas.

Thái jackfruit is available both fresh and dried.

According to the Dong Thap Province Department of Industry and Trade, most of the province’s output is exported to China via non-quota exports.

The province has recommended that farmers should fully understand the market’s requirements and find steady markets before expanding the area under the fruit to avoid oversupply.