The Central Highlands province of Lam Dong is looking to bring back the popularity of the local specialty Laba banana, once reserved for only the royalty and French colonialists.

First introduced in the Laba-Phu Son area (now Duc Trong and Lam Ha districts) in the early 1920s, Laba banana was known for its special taste and flavour. However, due to widespread cultivation and a lack of investment, the banana strain’s yield and fruit quality have been declining.

To rescue the plant’s fame, in 2007, the Duc Trong district Department of Agriculture and Rural Development launched a research project on reviving and developing Laba banana.

As a result, the provincial Department of Science and Technology has recently awarded a trademark certificate to the fruit, paving the way for banana growers and businesses to expand domestic consumption and export of Laba bananas.

Laba is now grown in over 250 hectares, mostly in Duc Trong, Don Duong and Lam Ha districts.

Besides the domestic market, the banana has been exported to several countries.

Le Sy Cong, Director of the Laba Lam Dong Co., Ltd., said last year his company shipped about 500 tonnes of Laba banana to Australia and China. Earlier this year, some Japanese partners expressed their interest in this product.

He also emphasised the need to expand the growing area of Laba and improve the quality of the banana in order to meet the increasing demands.

Source: VNA