(HBO) – Previously, it took farmers in Lac Son district, Hoa Binh province, at least 7-8 years to take care of Doi trees (michelia tonkinensis) before harvesting their nuts which are used as a spice. Now, the technique of graft helps halve the time and opens up a new promising way of growing Doi trees for Quach Phien in Chieng hamlet, Phuc Tuy commune, Lac Son district.

A Doi garden is located on Roc Trau hill, 500 metresfar away from the local residential area. With branches bearing with rich fruits, we can’t believe the Doi trees in the garden are in the fourth year. "We used to plant maize and cassava. Acacia trees also take a long time while the profit was low, therefore I used to work far from home”, Phien said.


Grafting Doi trees opens up a new way to get rich for Quach Phien (L) in Chieng hamlet, Phuc Tuy commune, Lac Son district.

It takes just three or four years for grafted Doi trees to produce fruits while the traditional way takes seven or eight years. This is a promising way, Phien said, adding that he learnt to graft Doi trees by himself, with the successful rate now reaching 80 percent.

Fifty grafted Doi trees, which were planted four years ago, are developing well. The land here is fertile and suitable for growing Doi trees. They have flowers and fruits right in the third year. Last year, Phien sold fresh Doi nuts at 600,000 VND (24 USD) per kilogramme, and dried Doi nuts at 2 million VND (88 USD) per kilogramme, earning over 100 million VND (4,400 USD) from his garden. This year, the trees bear plentiful fruits, and promise a same value, Phien said.

The Doi trees are developing well among the Acacia forest. Phien is excited when talking about his Doi trees, though he regretted for planting them a little too thick. Doi trees should be planted seven metres away from each other to enable their branches to stretch, Phien said, adding that he has planted an additional 300 grafted Doi trees and targets to plant 500 trees this year.

To ensure the quality of grafted Doi trees, Phien had to select those with many fruits and good development to graft with other trees. His 50 four-year-old Doi trees offer a huge source. Seeing his success, many local residents bought seedlings from Phien and now have also well-developed Doi gardens. Phien plans to expand his Doi garden to supply for the market.

Besides Doi nuts, Phien also raises chickens in the garden and earns a stable income. Grafting Doi trees has opened up a new way for Phien to get rich right in his homeland. This is a promising livelihood for local residents as many have learnt from Quach Phien to shift their mixed gardens to Doi trees.

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