|For the second year running, Tiền Giang is set to export fresh star apples to the US. — Photo danviet.vn|
HÀ NỘI — Farmers in the Mekong Delta province of Tiền Giang are preparing to ship 400 tonnes of well-known local Lò Rèn star apples to the US this year.
This is the second year Tiền Giang has shipped fresh star apples to the US. Last year, the province exported nearly 100 tonnes of the fruit to the market.
To fill the order, star fruits have been collected from more than 270 farms across the districts of Cái Bè, Cai Lậy and Châu Thành. These farms grow over 100 hectares of star apples which have been verified and labeled with code stamps to trace their origins.
The farms have used advanced techniques for pesticide management as required by the US Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), and have kept farming records.
The first batch of Vietnamese star apples arrived in the US in December last year, making Việt Nam the first and only country licensed to sell fresh star apples to the demanding market following years of negotiations, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Star apple is among six Vietnamese fruits allowed into the American market, along with lychee, longan, rambutan, dragon fruit and mango.
Last year, Việt Nam was estimated to have about 5,000 cultivated hectares of star apples, mainly in Tiền Giang (3,100ha) and Cần Thơ (1,200ha).
Tiền Giang boasts the country’s largest orchard area with some 73,000 hectares, which yield around 1.4 million tonnes of fruit each year. If the Mekong Delta is Việt Nam’s fruit kingdom, the province should be called “the kingdom of the fruit kingdom” since it has many fruit brands such as Lò Rèn Vĩnh Kim star apples, Hòa Lộc mangoes and Tân Phước pineapples. — VNS