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Irradiation facilities benefit fruit exporters

Update: June, 28/2016 - 09:00
Two women are carrying basket of lychee harvested in northern Hải Dương Province’s Thanh Hà District. The operation of radiation centre in Hà Nội helps lychee exporters save on storage and transportation costs as well as time. – VNA/VNS Photo Vũ Sinh
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI – The provision of irradiation services for fresh fruit exports in Hà Nội has created many benefits for enterprises, experts have said.

The Hà Nội Irradiation Centre (HIC) on June 23 for the first time irradiated two tonnes of lychees destined for Australia. The centre was expected to help lychee exporters save on storage and transportation costs as well as time, as they did not need to ship the lychees to the south for irradiation treatment, said Đàm Quang Thắng, director of Agricare Việt Nam, one of the two companies getting their lychees irradiated at the HIC. 

In working with the HIC, the company had reduced its irradiation costs by VNĐ20,000 per kilogramme of lychees compared with having them irradiated in HCM City, so the move was better for the business in terms of corporate benefits, he said.

On the same day, Rồng Đỏ Manufacturing, Commerce and Services Company also brought lychees to the HIC for treatment.

Nguyễn Quang Thiệu, director of the HIC, said the irradiation time for each batch of products was some 1.5 hours and the irradiation capacity at the centre had reached 20-30 tonnes per day. After the irradiation process, all products reaching export standards are transported to the airport.

Thiệu said the centre was scheduled to irradiate 10 tonnes of lychees for Rồng Đỏ Company for export to Australia. In addition, some six other companies have registered for irradiation services at the centre for their export products.

The centre expects to provide irradiation services for 100 tonnes of export-bound lychees this year, he said.

Hoàng Trung, head of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Plant Protection Department, said Australia was currently one of the most demanding export markets. However, in recent years, Việt Nam’s lychees have entered the market, and these exports have brought high income for farmers and enterprises.

On June 20, 2016, the HIC received official certification from Australia’s Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, he said. This would be an advantage for lychee exporters because the northern region supplies most of the country’s lychees for export.

Irradiation is a safe technology that helps kill bacteria and micro-organisms and keeps fruit fresh for longer periods, even up to a few months.

Lychee exports

The northern province of Bắc Giang by June 22 exported over 32,200 tonnes of lychees, a provincial specialty, to China, the United States, Australia and Malaysia, accounting for nearly 25 per cent of the province’s total production in 2016.

According to the provincial Department of Industry and Trade, 32,200 tonnes were shipped to China through the Lạng Sơn, Lào Cai and Hà Giang border gates. Meanwhile, 13 tonnes were sent to the United States, Australia and Malaysia.

This year, lychee exporters are expanding their markets to Poland and the Middle East, the department added.

As part of efforts to back exporters, the department has co-ordinated with authorised agencies in the border provinces of Lào Cai and Lạng Sơn to provide updates on the market situation and on any new policies in China, while promoting lychees in the mass media in China, the United States, France, Australia and Malaysia.

From this year’s crop, Bắc Giang’s total lychee production was estimated to reach 130,000 tonnes, including 59,450 tonnes meeting VietGap standards. So far, 54,200 tonnes, or 39 per cent of the total lychee crop, have been harvested.

Lục Ngạn District, the largest “thiều” lychee producer in Bắc Giang, has 158ha of land dedicated to producing some 1,000 tonnes of lychees to the GlobalGap standard.

Along with exports, Bắc Giang has also sold some 8,000 tonnes of lychees to the domestic market, especially in the southern localities.

Lychee week kicks off

The 2016 Lục Ngạn - Bắc Giang Lychee Week in Hà Nội kicked off at the Big C Thăng Long Supermarket last Friday. The event will run through June 30.

It was jointly organised by the provincial Industry and Trade Department, Lục Ngạn District’s People’s Committee, Hà Nội’s Industry and Trade Department, Big C Supermarket and Hà Nội Trade Corporation (Hapro).

The event aims to get Bắc Giang Province farm produce to Hà Nội consumers more easily during 2016-20.

The lychees are displayed with packing labels showing origin information at 10 booths at the event. Prices run from VNĐ35,000 to VNĐ45,000 per kilogramme.

Bắc Giang lychees are cultivated in a concentrated lychee-growing area. VietGAP and GlobalGAP cultivation standards are applied, ensuring clean produce that meets food safety and hygiene requirements, according to Trần Quang Tấn, director of the Bắc Giang’s Industry and Trade Department, who spoke at the opening ceremony.

Nguyễn Thanh Hải, the deputy director of the Hà Nội’s Industry and Trade Department, said the event created opportunities for lychee businesses to meet and seek partners to sign trade contracts and boost lychee consumption.

A lychee consumption signing ceremony between Lục Ngạn District’s People’s Committee and six supermarkets and wholesale markets in Hà Nội also took place at the event.

Guillaume Sénéclauze, general director of Big C Việt Nam, said Big C was willing to support Vietnamese farm produce consumption in general and lychee consumption in particular.

“We expect lychee consumption at Big C will increase by more than 30 per cent year-on-year in our supermarket chain this year”, the director said at the event.

Right after the launch of the Bắc Giang Lychee Week in Hà Nội late last week, the lychees had been attracting a lot of attention from capital citizens and consumption had spiked, a Big C representative told Việt Nam News yesterday.

“At Big C supermarkets in Hà Nội, we have consumed more than 15 tonnes of fresh lychees granted VietGAP and GlobalGAP certificates in just the last three days”, the representative added. - VNS




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