For the Mong people in Moc Chau District, the plum tree is a gift endowed by nature because this variety of tree grows very well on soil in the highlands and does not need to be tended carefully. Furthermore, it brings high economic value.
The tree often blossoms in the spring and is laden with fruits in early summer. This year, there is a bumper crop of plums in Moc Chau so the whole area has become busy with local people picking plums and traders buying the products.
Mua A Lua in Loong Sap Commune, Moc Chau District said that although it is now the early harvest, hundreds of merchants from different provinces in the North like Hung Yen, Bac Giang and Hanoi flock to Loong Sap Commune to buy fresh plums each day. This year, plums are sold at about 7,000 – 8,500VND/kg, which is higher than last year. Therefore, the local people feel encouraged to harvest plums.
Like Loong Sap Commune, Long Luong Commune also has many fields of plum trees so hundreds of tonnes of plums are harvested every day. “In the lowland, 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 not enough to sell to customers,” said 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 plums, bringing 300,000-400,000 VND to the farmers. Total earnings are 30-40 million VND from an orchard. It is a good income for the Mong people in Moc Chau Plateau.
When we visited the area, we met Hau A Canh, a farmer in Moc Chau town who hunted high and low for people to pick plums. He said: “My family has 400 plum trees that need to be harvested, but at that time every household must pick plums, it is difficult to hire pickers. Thus, I have to beg some people from far away to help harvest the plums.”
Currently, besides the economic value from selling plums, the Mong people in Moc Chau can take full advantage of engaging in community-ecotourism. As reported, the management department of Moc Chau Tourism Area is investing in 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 plums.