A majority of its 350,000 ha of agricultural land is arable, helping Son La develop highly valued crops and diversify farm produce. Son La is focusing on restructuring agriculture and modeling the crop structure in line with the local soil potential, workforce, and consumption practices.
The province is moving toward cultivating fruits tree on sloping land, developing cooperatives, and attracting businesses to invest in agriculture. The key is to create a value chain encompassing production, supply, processing, consumption, and promotion of safe farm produce export practices.
As a result, the fruit tree cultivation area in Son La turns out 250,000 tons per year.
Lo Minh Hung, Deputy Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, said, “From now until 2020, Son La will develop 100,000 ha of fruit trees and pay more attention to the production process to ensure the quality of agricultural products for customers at home and demanding importers like the US and Australia.”
Son La has defined the cultivation of key fruit trees like mango, lemon, banana, avocado, and plum and boosted the development of agricultural cooperatives. It now has dozens of fruit tree cooperatives, and 150,000 ha of longans, mangos, limes and bananas.
Local farmers have begun the application of the Viet GAP-based cultivation process.
Currently, many mango and longan plantation areas in Ma, Mai Son, and Yen Chau, have met the conditions for exports. In addition, nearly 10 ha of limes in Moc Chau have followed Viet GAP regulations to meet European standards.
Ha Thiu Chinh of Chieng Hac commune, said “With an aim to export to demanding markets, we have used their plantation standards in orchards in Chieng Hac commune and Yen Chau district in general. The local farmers’ awareness and application of these standards has remarkably improved.”
A Steering Committee on Agricultural Product Processing has been established together with the organization of events to promote Son La agricultural products.
To date, a number of large enterprises, including Vina T & T Company and Dong Dao Food Export Company, have supported Son La in introducing its farm produce to foreign markets, such as Australia, the US, EU countries, and China.
Nguyen Dinh Tung, Director of Vina T&T Company in HCMC, said “Son La’s longans, especially Song Ma longans, are of high quality with extremely small seeds, thick pulp, and less moisture content, which is favorable for preservation. Following a survey last July, we realized Son La longan’s potential and decided to export to the US market. We received good feedback.”
This year Son La has been exporting 12 products - mango, longan, lime, banana, plum, coffee, tea, cassava starch, butter, honey, and vegetables.