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GEOGRAPHICAL INDICATION PROTECTION OF “BÀ RỊA - VŨNG TÀU” FOR BLACK PEPPER

On 12 February 2018, National Office of Intellectual Property has issued certificate No.00064 for the famous Bà Rịa - Vũng Tàu black pepper

On 12 February 2018, National Office of Intellectual Property issued Decision No. 462/QD-SHTT on granting Geographical indication registration certificate No.00064 for the famous Bà Rịa - Vũng Tàu black pepper. Office for Rural Development of Bà Rịa - Vũng Tàu Province is the organization in charge of managing this GI.

The history of pepper growing in VietNam stated that “In VietNam, wild pepper trees were found prior to the 16th century, but it was only cultivated since the 17th century” (Chevalier, 1925; Phan Hữu Trinh et al., 1987). In late 19th century, pepper was grown on fairly large areas in Phú Quốc, Hòn Chồng and Hà Tiên (Kiên Giang province), mainly by Chinese ethnics from Hainan Island who followed Mạc Cửu (Mò Jǐu) to immigrate into Hà Tiên. Also during this period and in early 20th century, pepper are grown by the French estate masters in Bình Long, Bà Rịa - Vũng Tàu, Quảng Trị and Quảng Nam provinces (Biard et Roule, 1942). From the 1940s to the 1970s, pepper was grown largely in Central and Southern Vietnam: Quảng Trị, Quảng Nam, Bình Phước, Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu, Bình Dương and Đồng Nai provinces, with the total area of 400 hectares and the productivity of only below 600 tons per annum (Tappan, 1972; quoted by Phạm Văn Biên, 1989)”.

During the French annexation, the Frenchmen discovered that the red basalt soil in Bà Rịa - Vũng Tàu is suitable to the biological characteristics of the pepper tree, and thus planted them in this land. A French document recorded that in 1883, pepper estates in Hà Tiên, Thủ Dầu Một and Bà Rịa exported 300 tons of pepper to Europe.

Bà Rịa - Vũng Tàu is one of the six major pepper producing provinces of the country.

Organoleptic properties of Bà Rịa - Vũng Tàu black pepper including dry, full seed fruit, the colour of the seeds are brown, gray, or black, with strong aroma and spiciness. Bà Rịa - Vũng Tàu black pepper has big seeds with the diameter of 3.2 mm - 5.8 mm. Bà Rịa - Vũng Tàu black pepper seed skin is thin at 92.7 µm - 157.7 µm.

 
 
 

Bà Rịa - Vũng Tàu black pepper has Manganese content of 109.4mg/kg - 299.9mg/kg; Boron content of 11.4 mg/kg - 30.8 mg/kg; Iron content of 33.6 mg/kg - 106.2 mg/kg; Piperine content of 4.0 % - 6.8 %; total ash content of 2.0 % - 5.1 %; density of 521.7 g/l - 679.0 g/l; moisture content of 7.7 % - 12.5 %.

Bà Rịa - Vũng Tàu black pepper’s quality and peculiarity are thanks to the natural conditions of the geographical area and the experience of  local farmers.

Bà Rịa - Vũng Tàu is a seaside province in Southeastern VietNam, under 8o slopes take over 81% of the province’s natural area. Due to its seaside location, Bà Rịa - Vũng Tàu has a temperate, cool climate, with alternate rainy and sunny days, even in dry season there still are out-of-season rains. This area has a high and stable temperature and humidity (annual average temperature at 27oC, amplitude of temperature variation between seasons 1.5oC - 3oC, amplitude of temperature variation between day and night is 8oC - 10oC, annual average hour of sunshine is 2,400 hours, annual average humidity is 72% - 90%), the dry season is not too harsh, and the rain regime is suitable to the biological characteristics of pepper trees. High humidity allows the pollen to stick to the pistil more easily, long pollinate period makes the pistil knob bigger, which increases the chance of conception, and bigger embryo. This explains the larger diameter Bà Rịa - Vũng Tàu black pepper seeds comparing to other areas’. Bà Rịa -Vũng Tàu rarely has storms therefore the trees are not damaged and affect the harvest. Wind regime of the coastline area with land wind and ocean wind blow regularly in day-night cycle, along with the high temperature, cause the constant dehydration, thus make the Bà Rịa - Vũng Tàu pepper has firmer seeds and thinner skin comparing to other areas.

Bà Rịa - Vũng Tàu pepper trees are planted on neutral brown-red soil on alkaline magma rocks, neutral brown-yellow soil on alkaline magma rocks, basaltic dark brown soil on metamorphosed pumice rocks, and black soil on accumulated basalt. The soil is naturally nutritious and has high nutrition potential, the cultivate soil with thickness over 70cm accounts for more than 72.57 % of the province’s natural area.

Basalt soil in Bà Rịa - Vũng Tàu province is different fromits counterpart in Chư Sê district of Gia Lai province, Cư Kuin and Cư M’Gar disctricts of Đắk Lắk province, Phước Long, Lộc Ninh, and Bù Gia Mập districts of Bình Phước, and Đắk Lấp district of Đắk Nông as the basalt soil of the said districts are near volcano mouths, the lava are rich in mineral clay, and the soil is thick. The basalt soil of the 4 districts of Bà Rịa city of Bà Rịa - Vũng Tàu province is naturally nutritious and has high nutrition potential. However, the metamorphosed layer of Bà Rịa - Vũng Tàu province is thinner than those of Gia Lai, Đắk Lắk, Bình Phước, Đắk Nông provinces, so the productivity of Bà Rịa - Vũng Tàu pepper is lower than those provinces’.

A peculiar point of the practice in Bà Rịa - Vũng Tàu is that pepper farms use living pillars, and are thoroughly covered, therefore less susceptible to strong winds.

In the wild, pepper is a vine, clinging on other trees’ body under the canopy shade, adapted and developed into a scattered light-favoured species. When the pepper tree is still young, the pepper farmers of Bà Rịa – Vũng Tàu designed the farm to have proper shade, adjusted the light in the pepper farm by trimming the canopy of the pillar tree to suit the need of the pepper in various stages of development. The shade will gradually decrease from 60% to 40% of coverage as the pepper trees grow.

A notable trait in the use of fertilisers of Bà Rịa - Vũng Tàu pepper farmers which is different to other areas’ is that most of the farmers use organic fertilisers for the pepper. Organic fertilisers used mostly come from feces of cows, chicken, pigs, and from dead bodies of fishes, plants, etc.

The geographical area consists of communes of Kim Long, Bàu Chinh, Quảng Thành, Bình Trung, Bình Giã, Láng Lớn, Xuân Sơn, Đá Bạc, Bình Ba, Sơn Bình, Xà Bang, Suối Rao, Cù Bị, and the town of Ngãi Giao of Châu Đức district; communes of Xuyên Mộc, Hòa Hiệp, Bàu Lâm, Hòa Bình, Hòa Hội, Hòa Hưng, and Tân Lâm of Xuyên Mộc district; communes of Sông Xoài, and Hắc Dịch of Tân Thành district; commune of Long Tân of Đất Đỏ district; and commune of Long Phước of Bà Rịa city, Bà Rịa - Vũng Tàu province.

Geographical Indication and International Trademark Division