Bến Tre is a province with large coconut growing area taking over one third of total coconut growing area of the country and coconut trees are extensively grown in concentrated material regions. More than 20% of Bến Tre’s coconut palm population is the variety of water coconut. Previously, Xiêm Xanh water coconut was seen as an auxiliary plant, only intercropped in coconut farms and orchards for its water and flesh. However, the good reputation of Bến Tre Xiêm Xanh coconut’s quality has been increased thanks to its nutritional values and health benefits. Due to growing demand, Xiêm Xanh water coconut becomes a high value crop in Ben Tre. Considerable advantages can be gained through many policies and projects promoted by Bến Tre Provincial People's Committee, for the development of the coconut industry. It is expected to turn into a key economic area of the locality, and to help Xiem Xanh coconut to compete both in domestic market and in foreign markets.
Bến Tre Xiêm Xanh water coconut has a distinctive and recognizable appearance. The fruit is small, with green exocarp; the fresh water inside is sweeter than that cultivated in other regions.
The fruit is round in shape, 14.43 ± 0.97cm in diameter, 16.7 ± 1.4cm in length, its lower part has a three-pointed knob protruding. It weighs 1.36 ±0.25kg, and the average volume of fresh coconut water per nut is about 258 ± 28 ml. Xiêm Xanh coconut water is used as a refreshing drink and a health enhancer. The quality of Bến Tre Xiêm Xanh coconut water is different from others’ in terms of nutritional contents. Vitamin C, total sugar, reducing sugar, carbohydrate, Ka, Fe, Zn, Brix level and energy found in Bến Tre Xiêm Xanh coconut are about 3.18 ± 0.08 mg/l, 5.79 ± 0.16 g/100ml, 4.63 ± 0.18 g/100ml, 6.53 ± 0.15 g/100ml, 1832.78 ± 52.94 mg/l, 0.36 ± 0.02 mg/l, 0.66 ± 0.05 mg/l, 7.36 ± 0.16 oBx and 26.96 ± 0.60 Kcal respectively.
The cultivated area of Bến Tre Xiêm Xanh coconut has terrain, soil and climate ideal for proper growth and development of coconut, so it has such characteristics and reputation. The terrain of the geographical area is flat, with average altitude from 1 up to 2 meters above sea level, decreasing from the North West to the South East with the arched sand dunes on the ancient coast formed by processes that harden sea sediments. Bến Tre is a large island located in downstream area the Mekong River, infilled with sediment of "estuaries" thousands of years ago. Gradually, the tributary rivers split islands has been filled by increasing amount of alluvia and islets that formed Bến Tre now. Historically, coconut has been a perennial plant, occupying an important position in the plantation system of Bến Tre province due to special adaptation to this sediment deposition. Coconut trees and the manufacturing of their products has created a special economic, cultural, social and environmental aspects in the island located in downstream area the Mekong River.
The cultivated area of Bến Tre Xiêm Xanh coconut is located in An Hoá Island, Bảo Island, and Minh Island of Bến Tre. These islands receive nutrient-rich sediment of the Mekong River before it flows out to the sea, for better coconuts to maximize the yield than other areas. The geologic features of the geographical area include mixed-layer clay, of which the sand ratio takes about 12%; sour soil with average H2O pH at 5.20 ± 0.07; average phosphate content at 1.81 ± 0.72 mg / 100g, average K content at 0.38 ± 0.18 meq /100g, average Zn content at 7.83 ± 1.38 ppm. Geographical area is located in tropical climate; average precipitation is 1,200-1,600 mm per year in depth; average temperature is from 25 to 29oC with 4-8oC temperature fluctuation between day and night. The average annual humidity is 81 - 82%.
In addition to the natural conditions favorable for growing Xiêm Xanh coconut trees, farming practices of Bến Tre people help generating particular characteristics of coconut water originating from this land. In processing, the farmers always pay attention to land drainage and soil accretion by digging ditches. The combination of good caring practices and agricultural engineering procedures has enabled coconuts to be green, yielding and high quality. Digging ditches and planting coconut trees stand for Bến Tre Xiêm Xanh coconut. And thanks to natural conditions together with semidiurnal tide cycle, people can take sediment from ditches infilled by river alluvium for soil accretion. The proper drainage system also supports to store rainwater for coconut trees in drought seasons.
Geographical area consists of Châu Thành district, Chợ Lách district, Giồng Trôm district, Mỏ Cày Nam district, Mỏ Cày Bắc district, Thạnh Phú district, Ba Tri district, Bình Đại district and Bến Tre city, Bến Tre province./.