For many years, the South of Vietnam has been known nationwide as the largest area having different kinds of fruit. In Tay Ninh Province, the Ba Den custard apple is a specialty, accounting for over 40% of the custard apple market share in the whole country. It is one of the agricultural products that bring about high economic value to local farmers.
The custard apple is a tropical fruit originating from the Caribbean with the popular name of Annona. The custard apple is rich in sugar, calcium and vitamins, thus it is very good for one’s health.
There are many varieties of custard apples, namely tough custard apple, highly starchy custard apple, Thanh Long custard apple, Giay custard apple and purple-skinned custard apple. However, the tough custard is the most popular in the area of Ba Den Mountain.
On Ba Den Mountain, the climate is temperate all year with the daytime sunny but not extremely hot. Nights last long with a low temperature that stimulates the custard apple trees to bloom.
The temperature difference between daytime and night is about 8-100c and between seasons, about 1.5-30c, which creates a stable climate, suitable for the custard apple trees to bear fruit all year round.
The gray soil on the ancient alluvial terrain around Ba Den Mountain is entirely suitable to the custard apple trees which have a shallow cultivation layer. During harvest, from August to September, the productivity of the Ba Den custard apple trees can reach from 3,000 to 3,500 tonnes/ha.
At present, the communes near Ba Den Mountain and surrounding areas have become the largest area specializing in custard apple cultivation with a total area of 4,500ha and it is expected to increase to 5,000ha by 2015.
In 2005, Thanh Tan Co-operative was established to protect the brand of the Ba Den custard apple. In recent years, thanks to the State policy on preserving and developing precious agricultural varieties, the development of the Ba Den custard apple tree is given priority.
Many custard apple specialized areas have been found, promoting the cultivation of custard apples on a large-scale and providing jobs for thousands of local labourers.
Currently, approximately 80% of the Ba Den custard apple in Tay Ninh is sold at most big markets and super markets all over the country, mainly in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. The product is also exported to foreign markets such as Cambodia, Malaysia, Canada and France.
Recently, the National Office of Intellectual Property of Viet Nam granted a Certificate of Registration of Geographical Indication for the Ba Den custard apple. It is a promising beginning for the development of the Ba Den custard apple in the market. It will help increase its competitiveness with others and protect the brand and interest of producers and customers.
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