VietNamNet Bridge – April is the peak time for thousands of people in the mountain districts of Tay Tra and Tra Bong in the central province of Quang Ngai to busily harvest, process and sell cinnamon.
Tay Tra and Tra Bong districts have nearly 5,000 hectares of cinnamon. The time for harvesting the highest-quality cinnamon is March-June. Cinnamon in Tra Bong and Tay Tra has high oil content and special aroma. The scientific documents demonstrate the very high medical value of Tra Bong cinnamon.
The harvest time for cinnamon trees is very long, from 5 to 40 years. Five-year-old cinnamon trees can yield about 10 kg of cinnamon each season. Each family here has from a few hundreds to tens of thousands of cinnamon trees. At present, the price for a kilo of fresh cinnamon bark is from VND20,000 to VND25,000 ($1-1.2).
In June 6, 2009, the Intellectual Property Office granted the certificate of Tay Tra and Tra Bong cinnamon brand. Thanks to the expansion of this brand, the life of cinnamon growers is getting better. Mr. Ho Van Anh in Tra Lanh commune, Tay Tra district, says that this harvest season, thanks to the higher prices for cinnamon, local farmers earn more income. His family has earned more than VND10 million ($500).
The local authorities provide 2 to 3 million cinnamon trees annually for poor households. “Thanks to this program, people will not have to harvest young cinnamon trees,” says Mr. Ho Van, Chairman of Tra Bong district.
Tra Bong district alone produces more than 1,000 tons of cinnamon a year, earning tens of billions of dong.
Cinnamon is used as spices, herbs, flavorings or extracted for oil. Cinnamon bark, leaves and wood can be used to make many products such as handicrafts, vases, bowls, tea containers, toiletries, incenses, etc. Cinnamon products are mainly exported to China, India and Russia.
In addition to the export of raw cinnamon bark, some private enterprises also produce fine-art products from cinnamon bark.
Children expose cinnamon bark under the sun.
Cinnamon bark is tied into bundles of about 20 kg for transportation.