Though not a staple plant of the district, longan is bringing about high economic value to many families in Thanh Ha (Hai Duong).
Hoang Gia Long's family in hamlet 5, Thanh Xa commune (Thanh Ha) annually makes a profit of more than VND200 million from longan
While people in hamlet 5, Thanh Xa commune chose to grow lychee, Hoang Gia Long plumped for another direction.
In 1997, he cycled to Hung Yen to learn how to plant Huong Chi longan. To date, his family has grown more than 100 longan trees of this kind which yield over a dozen tons of fruit and a profit of more than VND200 million each year.
Since the beginning of the longan season, Long has harvested and sold over 2 tons of fruit at a price of VND30,000/ kg. About 7 remaining tons will be harvested from now until the beginning of lunar October.
"Longan is easy to be sold to traders for high prices on the spot. I don't have to manage selling sources since there is not much longan grown around here," said Long.
This time, the longan garden of Pham Thi Man's family in Kim Can hamlet, Thanh Lang commune is also being harvested.
Man's family grows nearly 2 mau (3,600 m²) of Mien Thiet, Ha Tay, and thoc longan. This year, the family is expected to gain over 3 tons of longan of all kinds and a profit of more than VND100 million.
"Early longan sells like hot cakes. I can sell longan for VND35,000 - 40,000/ kg in the market while traders go as far as my house to pay VND25,000 - 30,000 for each kilogram. Longan is many times more valuable than lychee," said Man.
To date, Thanh Lang commune has had the largest longan cultivation area in the district (nearly 30 ha).
It is not easy for each household to have longan gardens which generate profits of hundreds of million dong each year.
According to Long's experience, longan is not hydrophilous, so he has heightened his garden for cultivation. With more than 20 years of longan growing, he has drawn much experience and can prolong the crop.
This year, his family got more than two tons of longan for sale at the beginning of the harvest but will not have any for sale at the peak time of the season.
"After every other household finishes harvesting longan, my family will start harvesting late longan, so its price will probably be higher. Fruiting time totally depends on bud treating time," said Long.
Thanks to much experience, Man's family annually makes good profits from longan.
"Contrary to lychee, longan does not need many kinds of drugs to prevent worms. From flowering to fruiting and then harvesting, it is necessary to spray plant protection drugs only 3 - 4 times. The harvest of longan can be prolonged instead of being hasty like that of lychee," said Man.
There are more than 200 ha of longan trees in Thanh Ha district, most of them are grown in the communes of Thanh Lang, Hong Lac, Thanh Cuong, and Thanh Hong; however, only about 10 families have made profits of VND100 million or more from longan.