Vietnam’s ‘fruit kingdoms’ ravaged by salinization
Ngo Van Bang in Cho Lach District, Ben Tre Province, is seen picking up dead grapefruits as over 100 fruit trees in his garden have been affected by salinity.
Tien Giang and Ben Tre Provinces are both labelled 'fruit kingdoms' because of their vast plantations in the Mekong Delta.
The most famous types of fruit grown in the two locations include grapefruit, durian, mango, rambutan, jackfruit and mangosteen. All have been widely consumed domestically, as well as being exported all over the world.
Unlike in previous years, in 2016 salt water has infiltrated the rivers and ponds near these local fruit gardens, resulting in farmers unwittingly watering their plants with water containing a high level of salt.
Plants with low salt tolerance will generally wither after a few days while the fruits of several others will not grow due to a lack of fresh water.
Authorities in Tieng Giang and Ben Tre have recorded thousands of hectares of fruit, as well as millions of plants and flowers, destroyed by the infiltration of salt water.
The volume of dead plants continues to rise each day, resulting in a growing number of farmers broke and indebted.
Locals have been struggling to figure out a way to save their fruit trees as national meteorologists are not forecasting rain until June.
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