With many advantages from large and high-quality growing areas, Vietnamese pomelo has the opportunity to bring in high export value when the US officially opens its doors to this fruit.
After more than 05 years of negotiations, the US Department of Agriculture recently announced the official authorization of Vietnam’s fresh pomelo imports. It is expected that in November 2022, the first batch of pomelo will be officially exported to the US.
FARMERS ARE EXCITED
According to statistics of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the country has 105,400 ha of pomelo, with an output of nearly 905,000 tonnes with diverse pomelo varieties, specific to each region such as green skin, Nam Roi, Dien, Doan Hung, Phuc Trach, etc. In particular, the Mekong Delta has the largest area and production in the country, about 32,000 ha, and 369,000 tonnes respectively.
Knowing that the pomelo is allowed to export to the US, Mr. Nguyen Van Tri, a farmer in My Hoa commune, Binh Minh town – the locality with the largest area of pomelo in Vinh Long province, with 1,300 ha and an annual yield of about 26,000 tonnes said: “In recent 02 years, many people here have switched from growing Nam Roi pomelo to durian and Thai jackfruit due to poor soil, aging pomelo trees, and unstable prices, etc but I am still loyal to pomelo trees. When I heard that fresh pomelo is allowed to export to the US, I was very happy because exporting to this market would bring in very high prices and profits to farmers. However, we expect the state management agency to guide planting techniques to ensure meeting export requirements to the US”.
Purchasing Nam Roi pomelo in My Hoa commune, Binh Minh town, Vinh Long province. (Photo: CA LINH)
According to Mr. Dam Van Hung, owner of the Huong Mien Tay green skin pomelo purchasing facility (Ben Tre), he has been preparing many things to export green skin pomelo to the US for several months. Among them, the most important thing is building new growing area codes and packing plants to meet the requirements of the US.
“I have registered two growing areas and preparing another growing area with a total area of 50 ha for the Plant Protection Department. In particular, I associate with dozens of farmers and cooperatives with an area of over 10 ha. The annual output of the 03 growing areas is about 500 tonnes but it is expected to export about 200 tonnes. The Provincial Plant Protection Department has supported farmers and cooperatives to develop growing area codes, growing techniques, and support establishments to build packing plants ” – Mr. Hung informed.
According to the owner of this facility, his green skin pomelo is exported unofficially to China at the price of about 02 USD/kg, but if it is exported to the US, the price will increase by about 20%-30%.
“Ben Tre province has a project to expand 900 ha of green skin pomelo growing areas for exports, of which 600 ha have been covered by the establishment. I have to build a growing area code so that when China allows the official exports of green skin pomelo, goods will be available immediately. Once the growing area code is available, the goods can be exported to many markets, not only the US or China alone, ” Mr. Hung said.
ENTERPRISES ARE EXPECTED
Vietnamese pomelo has the opportunity to bring in high export value when the US officially opens its doors to this fruit. (Photo: Internet)
Mr. Vo Quan Huy, Director of Huy Long An – My Binh Company Limited (Long An), owns 120 ha of concentrated growing pomelo also prepared for fresh pomelo export to the US a few years ago. “The American market has clear standards so it is easy for growers to follow. Although many countries can grow pomelo, farmers can be confident that Vietnamese goods have superior quality and high international competitiveness thanks to the centralized and easily controlled raw material area ” – Mr. Huy said.
Regarding plant quarantine, Mr. Vuong Hieu, Director of Toan Phat Irradiation Company Limited (Long An), said that it is expected that by the end of this October, American experts will come to check the absorbed dose of pomelo when it is processed on the dose mapping equipment at Toan Phat factory. This is one of two US.-licensed plants irradiating fresh fruit.
“Through the survey of importers in the US, Vietnamese pomelo is very much expected, especially in the Asian community. Although the US has many sources of pomelo from Mexico or domestically, the flavors of Vietnamese pomelo, especially green skin pomelo, have many competitive advantages. We expect that the new product – pomelo can boost the production of fresh fruits exported to the US in the coming time, ” Mr. Hieu said.
As a major exporter of fresh fruits to the US, Mr. Nguyen Dinh Tung, General Director of Vina T&T Group, forecasts that pomelo will bring in the greatest export value if compared to the 06 fruits that have been opened before including dragon fruit, rambutan, longan, lychee, star apple, and mango.
“Vietnam’s pomelo growing area is not only large but also concentrated, so it is easy to apply the cultivation process that the US requires, which is available all year round and especially the technology of preserving pomelo up to 90 days. Pomelo is a long-lasting fruit. The longer-lasting, the better it is. This is very convenient to help enterprises export by sea with low cost and long sales time ” – Mr. Tung analyzed.
According to the Department of Plant Protection, it is expected that in November 2022 there will be the first shipment of fresh pomelo exported to the US. Ben Tre province – a locality famous for its green skin grapefruit region – has registered to host the ceremony for the first export of this batch of pomelo./.