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Thursday, January 27, 2022

MARD calls for boosting local fruit consumption amid export uncertainties

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) has urged relevant stakeholders to join forces in boosting local fruit consumption now that China as the biggest buyer of Vietnamese fruit has erected new technical barriers.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture Tran Thanh Nam said the local commercial fruit output in the first quarter this year may reach nearly one million tons, while China has tightened its import policy to pursue the “Zero-Covid scheme,” Thanh Nien reported.

Nam said MARD would organize a forum on January 6 to rev up the local consumption of fruit, and called on enterprises and traders to join the scheme to this effect.

The deputy minister, citing statistics from fruit-growing localities, said the commercial fruit output in this quarter would almost reach one million tons, including 300,000 tons of dragon fruit, 250,000 tons of mango, 160,000 tons of jackfruit, 140,000 tons of pomelo, and 130,000 tons of orange. These fruits used to be shipped to China en mass, especially in the period ahead of the Tet holiday, but the neighboring country has now turned its back to certain types.

Specifically, China has announced not to import dragon fruit until January 26. In addition, it has also announced a 28-day moratorium on all types of fruit in refrigerated containers, two weeks either side of the Tet holiday. Therefore, the export of fruit to China in the coming weeks will be harshly restricted, Deputy Minister Nam noted.

At a forum on agricultural production and farm produce processing organized on December 31 by MARD, several enterprises said they were ready to help with consuming fruits stranded at border gates in Lang Son Province.

Representatives of Central Retail and BRG Retail pledged to help with consuming quality fruits in their outlets, especially dragon fruit and water melon that are more demanded during the Tet holiday.

Ninh Binh-based Doveco, meanwhile, said it would help boost local sales of such fruits as mango, pineapple, banana and passion fruit. Apart from acquiring fruits stranded at border gates, Doveco will work with authorities in Dong Thap and Tien Giang to purchase fruit from farms for processing.

Nafoods Group at the forum also pledged to purchase fruits for its processing plants in Nghe An and Long An provinces.

Deputy Minister Tran Thanh Nam observed that local processing enterprises have high demand for fruits, and therefore, localities and stakeholders “should proactively connect with enterprises and business associations to find outlets for fruits.”

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