|Litchi of Thanh Bính Commune in the litchi festival on June 10 in Hải Dương Province. — VNA/VNS Photo|Viet Nam News
HẢI DƯƠNG — The first-ever Thanh Hà litchi festival opened in the northern province of Hải Dương on June 10 to promote the local specialty fruit.
The festival also aims to connect farmers with supermarkets and trade centres, and processing and export firms nationwide.
Addressing the event, Deputy Prime Minister Vũ Đức Đam said Vietnamese litchi has been put on shelves in many choosy markets, stressing the need to pay more attention to the application of cutting-edge technologies and scientific and technological advances in caring, processing and preserving the fruit.
He also reminded State management agencies to help farmers promote the image and benefits of litchi.
Apart from litchi production and trade promotion, Hải Dương Province in general and Thanh Hà District in particular should heed cultural and tourism development, especially ecological tourism, the official suggested.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyễn Xuân Cường said the festival offers an opportunity to honour the local specialty fruit and the farmers who grow it, as well as Việt Nam’s agriculture-based economy.
According to Nguyễn Dương Thái, chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, ancient documents prove that litchi was grown in Thanh Hà from around 200-300 years ago.
In 2018, Hải Dương dedicated some 10,500ha to litchi production, mostly in Thanh Hà District and Chi Linh Town, which are expected to yield about 60,000 tonnes this year. Of the total amount, some 1,000 tonnes is qualified for export to the US, Australia and the EU, he said.
At the festival, Deputy PM Đam and other delegates cut the ribbon to mark the departure of three containers of litchi to the processing zone of ABA Solution and Trade JSC in Mê Linh, Hà Nội, to export to the US.
An array of activities will be held during the festival, including tours to the ancient litchi tree in Thúy Lâm Village in Thanh Sơn Commune, Thanh Hà District; visits to the VietGAP litchi gardens; and boat tours to litchi orchards along the Hương River.
Visitors can also try their hand at picking litchi in gardens in Thanh Hà District and Chí Linh Town.
Hải Dương litchi received the geographical indication from the Ministry of Science and Technology’s National Office of Intellectual Property in 2007. The local fruit was listed in the top 10 quality products in 2013 and 2014 and received the Gold Brand prize in 2015.
The Việt Nam Association of Food Science and Technology granted a “trustful and safe food brand” certificate to Thanh Hà litchi in 2016. The same year, the ancient litchi tree in Thúy Lâm Village was recognised as the oldest of its kind in Việt Nam.
Besides the domestic market, Thanh Hà litchi has increased its presence outside the country. The fruit has been exported to Australia, Canada, China, France, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Sweden, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates and the United States. — VNS