|Pomelo is the seventh fresh fruit of Việt Nam to be licensed to enter the US market. — VNS Photo|
HÀ NỘI — After over five years of negotiations, the US Department of Agriculture has officially licensed the import of fresh pomelo from Việt Nam, an official has said.
Pomelo is the seventh fresh fruit of Việt Nam to be licensed to enter the US market, following mango, longan, lychee, dragon fruit, rambutan, and star apple, Hoàng Trung, Director of the Plant Protection Department at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, told a meeting in Hà Nội on Monday.
The US has great demand for fruit, up to 12 million tonnes each year. Its domestic production has met just 70 per cent of the demand while the remaining 30 per cent, equivalent to 3.6 million tonnes, is imported.
Meanwhile, Việt Nam is home to 105,400ha of land under pomelo with diverse varieties, generating nearly 905,000 tonnes of fruit. The Mekong Delta alone houses about 32,000ha with an output of some 369,000 tonnes.
This creates considerable room and a great opportunity for Vietnamese fruits, including pomelo, to access the US market, he noted.
To export pomelo to the US, the Plant Protection Department will work with relevant parties to carry out measures, especially training farmers and exporting companies on the US’ import requirements.
It will also maintain the granting of production unit codes and strictly monitor pest contamination in fruit.
All pomelo batches to be shipped to the US will be irradiated at the US-recognised irradiation establishments under the supervision of the US Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and the Plant Protection Department, Trung added.
Previously, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) published in the Federal Register decided to allow the import of fresh Vietnamese pomelos into the US market from October 4 this year.
On October 12, 2022, a delegation of USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) experts visited and inspected the pomelo growing area and packing facility in Bến Tre province.
They inspected pomelo growing areas for export in three communes of Châu Thành district, including Quới Sơn, Hữu Định, Tam Phước and the packing facility of fresh fruit exported to the US of Chánh Thu Import-Export Limited Company.
Nguyễn Minh Cảnh, Vice Chairman of Bến Tre Provincial People's Committee, said that for the value chain of green skin pomelo production, Bến Tre currently has seven co-operative groups and 12 co-operatives associated with enterprises with an area of 374.03 ha.
Of which, the area certified for VietGAP is 330.98 ha.
A report from the General Department of Customs showed that Việt Nam's fruit and vegetable exports reached nearly $2.2 billion in the first eight months of the year.
Export turnover to the US reached $179 million, up 19.1 per cent over the same period last year and accounting for 8.16 per cent of the total export turnover of Vietnamese vegetables and fruits. — VNS