Pomelos From Coconut Orchards

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Pomelos From Coconut Orchards: The all-natural pomelos that we deliver to you are grown and harvested in Ben Tre – the area known as the “coconut capital” of Vietnam.

It is impossible to express our excitement when talking, listening and cooperating with the farmers in this province. They are slowly changing their perception of farming by implementing organic methods for sowing and cultivating; not only bringing our customers high quality and safe fruits, but also improving the health of the farmers and enriching the land. 

In March 2020, the idea of ​​a model of farming pomelos according to organic standards arose. Intercropped methods in coconut orchards were deployed in the local area. Intercropping is a multiple cropping practice involving growing two or more crops in close proximity. Said differently, the farmers will grow several crops in the same area. During this time, the farmers participated in training courses on planting techniques; how to compost organic fertilizers; how to check EC (salinity) in soil and water; and recording of the agricultural production diary.

From then to now, Tan Trung commune, Mo Cay Nam district is the first location in Ben Tre province that has 5 hectares of pomelos growing. 11 households are divided into two groups that are part of the co-op supporting each other and sharing experiences to enhance their crop outcome in an organic and sustainable way.  

Difficulties at first

In the first time when following the PGS standards, farmers were faced with many difficulties. In the first 2 months during the transition from traditional farming, or VietGAP to PGS organic standards, the pomelo trees had not grown big enough, the leaves were small and not green.

Moreover, changing the mindset from conventional farming with herbicides and pesticide to organic methods were not a familiar concept. Also the farming land was new to where they would usually grow their crops. One of the bigger challenges was to “break” from the traditions of using chemicals that have been their practice for many years. 

The first successes

Talking to Mr. Phuoc – one of the farmers who is growing the pomelos intercropped in a coconut orchards, he said: “After 8 months of planting according to PGS organic standards, his pomelo trees are growing quite well and he is also excited that his health is getting better than before, as he doesn’t have to deal with neck pain or dizziness and burning eyes after spraying pesticide to plants. Although there is more work than before, he no longer fears health problems.

Now, spraying and applying inorganic fertilizers to plants every week is not happening. When growing pomelos according to PGS standards, farmers are receiving instructions on composting organic manure from locally available manure. And they only have to spray using herbal nutrient solutions once a month. During the past 10 years, the Tan Trung people have been able to compost fertilizer for crops themselves; and there is no longer the situation of discharging livestock waste into the environment as before. 

Other successes

In addition, the natural habitat of natural enemies is no longer threatened. To treat pests on citrus trees, the farmers use natural enemies as weaver ants to control pests. For underground diseases such as latex and root rot, they use microbiological preparations to manage any fungi.

The organically grown green pomelos thrive naturally and are gradually being favored by more consumers. The selling price is higher than others in the market, but the output is quite stable because of the high quality and safety, besides that, trees give higher yields than before making farming households really excited and appreciated when switching to this model.

In sum, this is another success story (that we are thrilled to be sharing) about how organic agriculture methods are oriented towards sustainability, focusing on creating quality products, safe products and at the same time protecting the health of consumers and farmers. 

Email: info@bynature.vn

Website: bynature.vn

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