Plum trees in full bloom
The tree typically blossoms in the spring and is laden with fruits by early summer. This year, there is a bumper crop of plums in Moc Chau and local people are busy picking and trading in plums
Mong children go to pick plums together
Mua A Lua in Loong Sap Commune, Moc Chau District says that although it is now the early harvest, hundreds of merchants from different northern localities, such as Hung Yen, Bac Giang and Hanoi, flock to Loong Sap Commune to buy fresh plums each day.
This year, plums are selling at about VND7,000–8,500/kg, which is substantially higher than last year. As a result, the local people feel encouraged to harvest plums.
Like Loong Sap Commune, Long Luong Commune also has many fields of plum trees and hundreds of tonnes of plums are harvested each day.
“In the lowlands, plums are now selling well so we use lorries to go to the local people’s orchards to buy plums. Each day, I transport over 20 tonnes of plums to Hanoi, but there is still not enough to sell to customers,” says Bui Van Nam, a merchant from Hanoi.
In Loong Luong Commune, every household has an average of 100 plum trees. Each tree yields about 75-100 kilograms of the fruit, bringing in VND300,000-400,000 to the farmers.
Total earnings are VND30-40 million from an orchard. It is an important source of income for the Mong people in Moc Chau Plateau.
Hau A Canh, a farmer in Moc Chau town, has hunted high and low for people to pick plums.
“My family has 400 plum trees that need to be harvested, but currently every household must pick plums, so it is difficult to hire pickers. Now I have to beg people from far away to help harvest the plums,” Canh confides.
Currently, besides the economic value from selling plums, the Mong people in Moc Chau take full advantage of engaging the community in ecotourism.
The management department of the Moc Chau Tourism Area is putting significant investmentinto building a unique tourism program.
The tourism model will take tourists to eat, live and harvest plums with the local people. After the harvest, the tourists are paid for picking the fruit.