In Vietnam, custard apple are extensively grown in the Southern region and scattered in the Central South. The custard apple tree has been cultivated for quite some time in the Hau Giang province and experienced significant growth around the year 2014. Custard apples are also referred to as "Mãng cầu gai," depending on the soil conditions of each region, and can be cultivated through seeds, cuttings, or grafting.
The industrially cultivated custard apple tree typically reaches a height of 20–30 cm (7.9-12 inches), adorned with thorns. The fruits are green and have an average weight ranging from 1–2 kg.
The custard apple from the Xiêm variety, when still on the tree, has edible flesh, a white, fibrous texture, and a hard-to-digest core with black seeds. The sweet flesh is used to make fruit juice, as well as in the production of candies, shaved ice desserts, and ice cream flavorings.
When mentioning custard apples, many people immediately think of provinces like Can Tho, Ben Tre, Hau Giang, Tien Giang, where these fruits are commonly grown. However, few are aware that Dak Nong is also an excellent region for specializing in the custard apple cultivation.
The predominant soil type in Dak Nong is Bazan red soil. During volcanic eruptions, these material layers are ejected to the earth's surface and solidify, forming the Bazan red soil found in certain regions worldwide. Common characteristics of this soil group include gentle slopes, thick and fertile layers, porous texture, and rich nutrient content. Due to its possession of Bazan red soil, coupled with features like caves, volcanoes, and interspersed mountain ranges, Dak Nong has become a fertile land nurturing various crops. Particularly, it has transformed into a specialized region for custard apple cultivation, an aspect that was once overlooked.
Elevating the Custard Apple in Vietnam to prominence.
Born and raised in a land with immense potential, leveraging its agricultural strengths, Mr. Nguyen Tuan Linh (born in 1991, from Pong Drang commune, Krông Buk district, Dak Lak province) has always aspired to prosper in his homeland. Recognizing the abundance of raw materials in the local area, Mr. Linh and his wife embarked on an entrepreneurial journey at the end of 2020 with the project "Processing Xiêm custard apple tea." They directly sourced custard apples from local farmers, ensuring both quantity and product quality.
The custard apple tea product underwent evaluation by the People's Committee of Dak Lak province and received recognition as a 3-star OCOP (One Commune, One Product) standard product. Currently, the company earns an annual revenue of around 700 million VND from Xiêm custard apple tea. In 2022, the "Processing Xiêm custard apple tea" project received encouragement and won an award in the Startup Business competition in Dak Lak province. In 2023, the project advanced to the finals of the "Youth Startup in Rural Areas 2023" competition, scheduled to take place in Soc Trang province.