The Department of Industry and Trade in southern Bình Thuận Province has been asked to investigate whether Chinese entrepreneurs were manipulating the dragon fruit market in the province.– Photo thanhnien.vn
HÀ NỘI – The Department of Industry and Trade in southern Bình Thuận Province has been asked to investigate whether Chinese entrepreneurs were manipulating the dragon fruit market in the province.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade has said that reports in a few local newspapers about some dragon fruit farms in Bình Thuận suffering from plunging prices because growers had been forced by traders to sell at lower prices were not completely true. It had also been reported that the lowest quality of dragon fruit was purchased by traders for prices between VNĐ200 and VNĐ300 per kg at the farms.
According to the Bình Thuận’s departments of Finance and Taxation, the price for the best quality dragon fruit ranged between VNĐ15,000 (US$0.67) and VNĐ18,000 per kg and the price for good fruit ranged between VNĐ6,000 and VNĐ8,000 per kg. Meanwhile, the lowest quality fruit fetched between VNĐ1,000 and VNĐ3,000 per kg.
The ministry said dragon fruit growers had been reporting a booming crop in the last few months with productivity between 200,000 tonnes and 300,000 tonnes. However, they also discovered dragon fruits with fungal and bacterial diseases. Many diseases were caused by bad farm management.
Therefore, both Vietnamese and Chinese traders only wanted to buy good quality products with prices between VNĐ8,000 and VNĐ10,000 per kg, while poor quality and diseased products were sold at prices ranging from VNĐ1,000 to VNĐ2,000 per kg at farms.
To solve this problem, the ministry has asked the provincial Department of Industry and Trade to enhance the control of dragon fruit trading activities in the province.
In addition, the department was asked to conduct business connectivity programmes and expand the market for fruit consumption.
The ministry will also organise a conference to connect Bình Thuận farms with traders in the country and importers from China.
The ministry will provide information about trading and price of this fruit via mass media to help growers sell their products.
Meanwhile, local authorities fined some Chinese nationals for illegally purchasing locally-grown dragon fruit to ship back to their homeland.
Previously, police in Bình Thuận identified 28 Chinese nationals who had entered Việt Nam on tourist visas to trade in dragon fruit.
The local People’s Committee has issued fines worth VNĐ235 million (nearly $11,000) for trading in Việt Nam without permission and confiscated 12 tonnes of dragon fruit.
Police officials also reduced the stay in Việt Nam of those being fined for first time and proposed to the Ministry of Public Security’s Việt Nam Immigration Department that repeated offenders be banned in Việt Nam for a certain period of time.
Many major wholesalers who trade in dragon fruit are located in the districts of Hàm Thuận Nam and Hàm Thuận Bắc. They are owned and operated by Vietnamese residents, but backed by Chinese nationals behind the scenes.
Bình Thuận is home to Việt Nam’s biggest dragon fruit plantation spread over 22,000 hectares. — VNS