|A farmer harvests pomelo at a cooperative in Phú Mỹ township. — VNA/VNS Photo|
BÀ RỊA-VŨNG TÀU — Four pomelo planting areas in the southern province of Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu have been granted planting area codes, enabling them to export green-skin pomelo to the US.
The provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development named the four areas as the Kim Long organic pomelo farm in Châu Đức District, the Hoàng Long pomelo farm, and two orchards owned by Trương Văn Út and Hồ Hoàng Kha, all in Phú Mỹ Township.
Those four areas have a total acreage of 68 hectares.
Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu is currently home to 1,163 hectares under pomelo with total output estimated at 4,500 tonnes a year. Most concentrated pomelo cultivation areas are in Châu Đức District and Phú Mỹ Township, with green-skin pomelo being the main variety.
Since the beginning of this year, the local agricultural sector has paid attention to encouraging and guiding farmers in following safe and organic cultivation standards. As a result, the quality of pomelo grown in the province, from the fruit’s appearance to taste, has improved remarkably, meeting the standards of markets with high requirements such as the US and the European Union.
The provincial authorities will continue to coordinate with local administrations to assess commercial pomelo planting areas. Those which have the potential for fruit export will receive guidance to apply for planting area codes.
The province will also organise training courses for farmers in accessing planting area codes and ensure human resources for setting up and managing planting areas and packaging facilities in accordance with requirements.
Châu Đức District is aiming to expand the pomelo planting areas given codes across the province to boost exports.
After over five years of negotiations, the US Department of Agriculture officially licensed the import of fresh pomelo from Việt Nam earlier this year.
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.
The US is a potential market for Vietnamese fruit, as it 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.
To export pomelo to the US, the Plant Protection Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development will work with relevant parties to carry out concerted measures, especially training farmers and providing exporting companies with information of the US’ import requirements. It will also maintain the granting of production unit codes and strictly monitor pest contamination in fruit. — VNS