Viet Nam News
HCM CITY – The Southern Fruit Festival 2016 kicked off yesterday (June 1) at Suối Tiên Tourist Park in HCM City’s District 9, featuring activities promoting the agricultural values of Việt Nam and its southern region.
The event, which ends on June 9, is organised by the city’s Tourism Department, Agriculture and Rural Development Department, Industry and Trade Department, and Suối Tiên Culture Tourist Corporation, among other agencies.
The Floating Fruit Market is the highlight of the festival, where more than 150 kinds of fruit, including Vĩnh Long Province’s Hoàng Gia pomelos, Long An Province’s Hoàng Hậu dragon fruit, Bến Tre Province’s Cái Mơn durian, and others sold at a 20-30 per cent discount.
Along with fruit that meets VietGap and Global Gap standards, the festival displays giant and rare fruit collections, featuring a 100-kilo pumpkin, 50-kilo winter melon, and many others.
About 600 fruit samples from 500 farmers will compete in the annual southern delicious and safe fruit contest.
“Due to the impact of drought and saline intrusion, we didn’t receive as much as fruit samples this year. However, we have carefully checked all samples to ensure their quality,” Nguyễn Thị Ánh Hoa, deputy director of the HCM City Department of Tourism, told Việt Nam News.
Held alongside the festival is the Việt Nam Fruit Week, where different kinds of Vietnamese fruit are on sale at Suối Tiên Tourist Park but also at many hotels, supermarkets, and shops.
“In addition to promoting tourism to international friends, we aim to raise funds for farmers and their families that have been affected by drought and saline intrusion in the region,” Hoa said.
Sellers have been encouraged to donate a part of their revenue to a great cause, she added.
On the opening day, the festival drew a huge crowd, mostly residents of HCM City and neighboring cities and provinces.
According to Đinh Thị Thoa from the management board of Floating Fruit Market, more visitors came to the festival compared to last year.
Lâm Thị Tố Nga from Lâm Đồng Province said: “This was the first time for my daughter to visit the festival and celebrate International Children’s Day. We bought fruit at an affordable price and took part in interesting activities. We’ll definitely come back next year!”
Trương Bảo Kiếm from District 7 said he had taken part in the Southern Fruit Festival for four years. “The new activities that are added every year are exciting,” he added.
Begun in 2014, the annual event has become a popular cultural tourism event. More than one million visitors are expected to attend and consume more than one tonne of fruits this year. – VNS