The Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap has approved a project to preserve the specialty pink mandarin of its Lai Vung district. The fruit allegedly faces extinction. The 73 billion VND ($3.1 million) project involves growing the fruit on a total area of 546.63 ha in the communes of Long Hau, Tan Phuoc, Tan Thanh, and Hoa Long.
The Lai Vung pink mandarin has only one harvest a year -just before the Lunar New Yea- and is one of the favourite fruits during the festival because of its beautiful colour, thin skin and sweet and unique flavour the fact it has few seeds.
It was first grown in the district 50 years ago; the fruit grown in Lai Vung is sweeter than elsewhere because of its unique soil, but in recent years a large number of trees contracted dry root rot disease and died.
The district has around 800 ha under the fruit, 300 ha less than in 2015, according to its Bureau of Agriculture and Rural Development. Of this, trees on 782.6 ha have the disease.
Nguyen Thanh Hung, deputy chairman of the province People’s Committee, said the project would focus on zoning, using science technologies, training, advocacy, mechanism, farming techniques, seedling production, and using organic fertilisers. The district plans to treat trees on 198.7 ha as they are still growing well despite contracting the disease.