Growing durian is lucrative: HAGL boss

Each tree in HAGL’s durian garden produces 40-70 kilograms of the fruit. Photo by VnExpress/Thi Ha

Chairman Doan Nguyen Duc of agricultural giant Hoang Anh Gia Lai (HAGL) said growing durian has brought profit of five dollars from one dollar of investment.

Visiting HAGL’s durian garden in the central highlands Gia Lai Province in the harvest season in mid-August, Duc said it was a place to help him relax when stressed.

“Visiting the durian garden, I feel happier than going to golf courses,” he said. His firm started growing durian trees in 2018.

Owning 1,200 hectares of durian including plantations of Musang King, the popular durian variety originally from Malaysia, and Mong Thong, a variety originally from Thailand, in Vietnam and Laos, with 80% of the area being in Laos, HAGL currently has the largest durian crop in Southeast Asia.

This year, the company has 40 hectares of Mong Thong durian which produces high-grade fruits for the second year with an output of 500 tons.

“I am selling all fruits in the garden for VND77,000 (US$3.23) per kilogram, so this 40 hectares will bring about VND35 billion this year,” Duc said.

For every dollar he spends on growing durian trees, he earns five dollars of pre-tax profit. “No one believes it, but this is a fact recorded in our company’s accounting books,” he said.

Each tree in HAGL’s durian garden produces 40-70 kilograms of the fruit. Photo by VnExpress/Thi Ha

Cuong, the owner of a 40-ha durian orchard in the Central Highlands region, said HAGL’s durian garden was just in the second year, so output was still low.

Entering the harvest season from the fourth year onwards, each hectare of durian can yield 20-35 tons of fruit. At that time, the profit from durian will be even higher.

“My 40-ha durian orchard are producing nearly 40 tons of fruit per hectare this year. With the selling price of VND70,000 per kilogram, I will earn more than VND100 billion,” Cuong said.

HAGL is focusing on three fields growing durian, growing bananas and pig farming.

Durian will be a major contributor to the company’s revenue next year when 50% of its total durian-growing area will bear fruit, while its production cost for each kilogram of the fruit is low, ranging from VND14,000 to VND20,000.

Musang King durian trees grown in Laos are expected to have a high yield and the fruit will be exported to China.

The Chinese demand for durian is very big, Duc said, noting that the current supply from Southeast Asian countries, including Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam, only met 10% of the demand.

This year the first durian harvest on Hainan Island, China, produced only 50 tons, or 2% of the estimate. With Thai and Filipino durian, there is only one crop a year with the harvest season falling in June.

According to Duc, HAGL grows durian trees in Laos at an altitude of nearly 1,000 meters, and they are in the harvest season between October and November.

With the three main pillars of durian, banana and pork, Duc expects HAGL to double its revenues this year.

As of June 30, the company had a total banana area of 7,000 hectares, and its banana export turnovers posted a year-on-year rise of 16% in the first half of this year.

In the six-month period, HAGL recorded revenues of VND3.147 trillion, and gross profits of VND638 billion, surging 54% and 37%, respectively.

The profit from pig farming was VND97 billion, from fruit trees VND485 billion, and from ancillary industry VND56 billion.

Source: Growing durian is lucrative: HAGL boss – VnExpress International