BAC GIANG - With highly intensive farming techniques, the couple of Tu Van Sang, a Hoa (Chinese) ethnic minority born in 1974, and Lam Thi Binh, 44, from the Tay ethnic group, in Trai Ba village, Quy Son commune, Luc Ngan district are not only able to “force” their orange trees to bear fruit as desired, but also go everywhere to help many gardeners have a good harvest.
Orange growers in many places know Sang and his wife for their special talent of "forcing" orange trees to produce fruit at will.
Ripe orange season in Luc Ngan.
Visitors to Sang's orchard are all amazed because they can see with their own eyes the orange trees laden with fruit in uniform sizes. Many trees can produce 100-200kg of fruit and some even 400-600kg. This year, his family's nearly 1ha organic orange garden is expected to yield about 30 tonnes of fruit.
They used to grow lychees and grapefruits, but Sang and his wife realized that oranges have higher economic efficiency, so since 2012 they have converted the entire area of lychees and grapefruits to oranges.
Lam Thi Binh gives advice on orange care techniques to Do Van Son in Ly Nhan district, Ha Nam province.
From practical experience and diligent research through books and the Internet, Sang and his wife have gradually accumulated a lot of knowledge. According to him, professional orange growers often observe the condition of the tree trunk, roots, and leaves o decide whether to produce the fruit or not.
If the tree's trunk and roots are strong and the leaves are green and thick, it is time to nurture flowers and "catch" fruits. On the contrary, if the tree is stunted and underdeveloped, it is necessary to temporarily let it rest, stimulate roots, and supplement nutrition. Too early or too late flower nurturing and fruit “catching” result in low yield.
Tu Van Sang gives advice on orange care techniques to people in Chieng Ban commune, Mai Son district, Son La province.
With the root-circling technique, growers can make the fruits large or small, more or less as desired. It is necessary to look at the amount of flowers and circle the root proportionally. If they want large fruits, they will make deeper cuts on the root.
For small fruits, they must circle many times to avoid making the marks too deep, leading to the death of the tree. If they do not circle the root, the tree will absorb nutrients, promoting the growth of winter buds and causing young fruits to drop.
Sang's experience shows that orange eyes should be grafted on the stump of a Dien grapefruit tree so that the tree is strong and durable, with tough branches. At the same time, growers need to increase the use of biological products to prevent pests and organic fertilizers to replace chemical fertilizers and pesticides, both helping with plant durability and quality improvement.
Sang does not remember how many orange orchards he has worked for in the country. Every year from the orange care service, his family earns hundreds of millions of Vietnamese dong. This year's orange crop alone, they directly worked for more than 100 gardens, including the one with more than 20,000 trees in Hoa Binh province that is about to be harvested.
Lam Thi Binh introduces the technique of grafting orange eyes on grapefruit stems.
According to the agreement, when this crop is completed, the garden owner will pay him 100 million VND (4,115 USD). “Even though this work is hard, I am very happy because I have income while many garden owners take high profits. On holidays and Lunar New Year (Tet), orange growers from many places bring products such as chickens, eggs, tea, wine and cakes as gifts to my family,” he said.
“Sang and his wife have good orange care techniques recognized by the local people and authorities. The precious thing is that they do not hide their skills but share all good experience and secrets with everyone to apply", said Tran Van Ban, Chairman of the Quy Son commune People's Committee.
The Luc Ngan sweet fruit region is entering the orange and grapefruit harvest season with product quality much improved compared to before. It is believed that the story of Sang and Binh with their talented hands will continue to be told by orange growers in new seasons.