Ben Tre's annual fruits and trees festival a full success

From June 6 to 9, 2008, the 8th Safe Fruit and Tree Festival 2008 – Ben Tre’s annual fruit and tree seedling trade fair – was being held in Cho Lach District, Ben Tre Province. The fair is an annual showcase by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in colaboration with the Southern Fruit Research Institute (SOFRI) and the Viet Nam Fruit Association, and is sponsored by the People’s Committee of Ben Tre Province.

This year’s festival has seen a demonstration of improvement by the organizers. Tree seedlings tents were laid out in neat rows that lined the square’s surrounding walls. In the middle, tents of orchid and ornamental tree were set up in a horizontal row fronting the main lobby of the hall of the exhibition square. Then, the fruit stands were not settled in that same square, but were moved to the pavement of the main road passing the front gates of the District People’s Committee. This layout helped in some way boost the strong buying of fruit during the 4-day festival. Thanks to this, more buyers were able to access the fruit stands conveniently.

That new layout made pracically good results at the ferstival. Reports of sale revenues from the fruit stands showed that more than 100 tons of fruit and 50 thousand tree seedlings were sold at the festival. The fruit and tree results were somehow prodded by the participation of more than 80 thousand people from all over the province and some from surrounding areas such as Vinh Long, Tra Vinh and Tien Giang provinces.

During the time of the festival, there were an agricultural promotion forum about citrus fruit trees and 4 other specialised two-way talking sessions between the farmers and the scientists and businessmen aboiut a variety of subjects related to fruit and tree growing in Ben Tre and the Mekong Delta in general.

It is the fruit contests that contributed the best to make the festival meaningful. This year’s contest drew 144 fruit samples to contend, and 40 of them were chosen to award with prizes. Besides, there were also 40 prizes warded for extraordinary fruits and vegetables (in shape and weight) chosen from gardeners around the province.

And then, 20 gardeners were awarded and praised for their growing of excellent fruits and ornamental trees that helped make the trademark of fruit and tree seedling for Ben Tre.

Also included in the festival were several cultural and scientific events relating to the fruit and tree growing activities in the Cho Lach area. There was the culinary contest dedicated to the province’s women association, the bird and sports contests to add more cultural aspects to the festival. What is more, a special section to cater food and drink for the festival visitors was the most crowded section of the festival.

After lingering for some time in the festival square, visitors may also make a tour of the tourist sites and gardens around Cho Lach. There are many new items in these sites such as mud bathing, rowing in the river to experience the feeling of drifting along the canals and see fruit trees standing on the river banks. Or, you may bypass the river to just stay in the garden and taste the fresh fruits that were hand-picked from the trees…

By presenting itself as a new distribution and advertising chennel for fruits and tree seedlings growers, the safe fruit and tree festival laid out a premise for further development of Ben Tre’s fruit and ornamental tree growing industries as well as the tourist industry which is still in the under-development state.

Translated by An Chau