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Exporters to send dragonfruit to US for irradiation

Update: August, 13/2012 - 08:22

 

Workers check the quality of dragonfruit in preparation for export in the central province of Binh Thuan. — VNA/VNS Photo Dinh Hue
HA NOI — Viet Nam has been given permission to export dragonfruis to the US for irradiation.

Exporters can now choose whether to irradiate the fruit in the US or in Viet Nam. Irradiation technology protects fruits and vegetables by killing harmful pests and diseases, keeping them fresh up to 30 days.

The first shipments of dragonfruit from Viet Nam are approved for arrival in the US on September 20.

Nguyen Huu Dat, Director of the Post Import Quarantine Centre under the Plant Protection Department, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said dragon fruit was the first and only fruit to be exported from Viet Nam to the US for irradiation so far.

He explained the unprecedented allowance resulted from the strong reputation for quality that Viet Nam's dragonfruit enjoys in the US.

Dat said that this was an opportunity to promote and expand the market for Viet Nam's dragonfruit because meeting US requirements means Viet Nam's dragonfruit will be likely to satisfy the requirements of any country.

Earlier this year, the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) granted a patent to the dragonfruit grown in the central province of Binh Thuan, recognising the brand name and image of Binh Thuan's dragonfruit.

The recognition from a prestigious US office will help Binh Thuan's Dragon Fruit carve out a niche among fastidious US consumers.

Binh Thuan province is now at the peak of its harvest time, and the price of the fruit has increased between 30 and 40 per cent compared to the same period last year.

According to local farmer Nguyen Van Ba, a dragon fruit farmer can now earn between VND6,000 (US$0,3 cent) and VND13,000 ($0,6 cent) per kilo depending on the type of fruit.

"We have been gaining a lot of profit from selling dragonfruit this season," said Ba.

India and Thailand were also given permission to export dragonfruit to the US for irradiation. — VNS

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