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High-Quality Dragon Fruit in Short Supply in Vietnam

December 05, 2023

According to a recent report by online newspaper VnExpress, starting from the end of November, dragon fruit production in Vietnam has entered the off-season. In the key producing province of Long An, farm gate prices of type 1–3 red-fleshed dragon fruit have risen to 33,000–43,000 Vietnamese dong ($1.36–1.77) per kilogram. Nevertheless, a substantial number of the country’s dragon fruit farmers have transitioned to cultivating alternative crops after experiencing sustained losses, resulting in a 50% reduction in dragon fruit production and posing challenges with respect to meeting market demand.

A grower in Long An province said that he used to cultivate 3,000 square meters of dragon fruit. When the purchase price exceeded 30,000 dong ($1.24) per kilogram, he could harvest over 6 metric tons of the fruit two to three times a year and earn an annual profit of over 100 million dong ($4,125).

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Vietnam has faced difficulties with its dragon fruit exports, resulting in a significant drop in prices. Many dragon fruit growers can no longer afford to purchase the required amounts of fertilizers and pesticides, forcing them to abandon dragon fruit cultivation and turn to other crops. At present, most dragon fruit growers continuing off-season cultivation are exercising caution by using less fertilizer and performing only minimal maintenance, leading to their fruit being graded as only type 3 or 4. Thus, despite the relatively high farm gate prices, there remains an insufficient supply of high-quality dragon fruit for the market.

The dragon fruit cultivation area in Long An province once totaled approximately 12,000 hectares, with an annual production of nearly 300,000 metric tons. This has now diminished to only 9,000 hectares because of the considerable number of farmers that have abandoned dragon fruit cultivation. A similar trend has been observed in the neighboring province of Tien Giang, where the dragon fruit cultivation area has decreased from 10,000 hectares prior to the pandemic to only 8,900 hectares.

Nguyen Quoc Trinh, chairman of the Long An Dragon Fruit Association, has stated that dragon fruit prices have now reached their highest level for this year. However, the available supply is projected to be only around 200–300 metric tons. Some dragon fruit dealers are able to acquire a maximum of 2–3 metric tons per day, while others are struggling to find any supply at all.

Image: Pixabay

This article was translated from Chinese. Read the original article.

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