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Fruit growers ready to reap export harvest

Update: May, 16/2006 - 00:00

Fruit growers ready to reap export harvest

(16-05-2006)

Workers of the Fruit and Vegetable Export and Import Joint Stock Co in HCM City shuck rambutans. — VNA/VNS Photo Dinh Hue

HA NOI — Viet Nam’s fruit industry set a target to harvest an annual 9 million tonnes of fresh fruit and post export revenue of US$350 million by 2010, said Vo Mai, chairwoman of the Viet Nam Fruit Association (Vinafruit).

To reach the goal, the industry is to upgrade post-harvest preservation technology to improve product quality, reduce post-harvest losses (which are estimated to account for up to 30 per cent of harvests), reduce prices, develop trademarks, build a new export market development strategy and step up trade promotion programmes, she said.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development recently approved a five-year Cuu Long (Mekong) River Delta export development programme, which calls for improvements in both quality and quantity of the region’s specialised produce, including Hoa Loc mangoes, Chin Hoa durians and Tam Binh oranges.

Mai cited statistics from the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organisation indicating shortages in the world’s supply of fresh fruit, with average annual fresh fruit consumption growing by an estimated 3.6 per cent while production grows at just 2.8 per cent. This presents an opportunity for Vietnamese fruit exporters to increase the nation’s export turnover, said Mai.

Viet Nam’s fruit growers project export revenue to hit $330 million this year, reversing a recent trend of tailing exports. Vinafruit said that due to limitations in storage capacity to prolong the shelf life of fresh of fruit products, the nation’s fruit industry posted significant declines in the past several years. Export revenue fell from nearly $330 million in 2001 to $150 to $180 million over the next five years.

Viet Nam has about 765,000 hectares of fruit-trees with annual output of more than 6.5 million tonnes. Key export products include pineapple, banana, orange, grapefruit, mango, durian, rambutan, dragon fruit, litchi and longan, said Vinafruit. — VNS

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