Farmers in Thanh Hoa Province are busy harvesting canna roots for starch, an important ingredient in their famed canna glass noodles.
A canna field in Ao Hill Valley of To Village, Cam Binh Commune, Cam Thuy District.
The area for canna production this year totals more than 20 hectares, the largest in the central province.
Pham Ngoc Thuyet, who owns this field, said cultivating canna requires little effort, with seeds readily available from the previous season.
Canna roots are usually located about 10-15 centimeters beneath the soil and easily dug up with a hoe.
Harvest season in Cam Binh Commune starts in December and ends before the Lunar New Year holiday, or Tet (in mid February this year).
“My family has cultivated four hectares of canna. The yield is higher than that of sugarcane, corn and cassava,” said Do Thi Dieu.
During harvest season, she often hires 20-25 laborers, at a rate of VND250,000-300,000 ($11-13) per person for a day’s work.
According to farmers in Cam Binh Commune, canna is very compatible with the local red basalt soil. Ten months after sowing, one hectare could produce around 60-65 tons of fresh canna roots, generating a net profit of VND30-40 million per hectare.
Roots are stored in sacks and sold to traders or transported to the mill. The current sales price ranges around VND15,000 per kilogram.
Canna roots, after being washed, are ground into starch to produce glass noodles. Those from Cam Thuy District are recognized by their clear fibers, slightly sweeter taste and chewier texture compared to noodles from elsewhere.
Cam Binh Commune has established a canna glass noodle production cooperative. Le Minh Duc, vice chairman of Cam Binh People’s Committee, said a quality local brand which follows VietGap standards could strongly boost production in the area.
After harvesting the roots, canna leaves are used as cattle or fish feed.
Canna was once grown in small household batches, with local production expanded after economic evaluation by the Women’s Union of Thanh Hoa Province in 2018.