Bac Giang has great chance to export pomelo to United States

Update: 18:05 | 19/10/2022

(BGO) – The Plant Protection Department (PPD) (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development – MARD) on October 17 announced the order of importing Vietnamese fresh pomelo to the United States. With big growing area, high quality and quantity, Bac Giang has many opportunities to export this fruit to the choosy market. The reporter from Bac Giang Newspaper interviewed Vice Director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Ba Thanh about this issue.

The PPD has announced about the official approval from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to import Vietnamese fresh pomelo. Could you clarify this information?

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The pomelo growing area in My An commune (Luc Ngan district).

It took nearly 6 consecutive years for the PPD to negotiate with US Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) from making technical document, submitting document to APHIS and USDA to gather public consultation, inspecting the growing area and processing facilities, completing the draft of import condition and gaining official approval.

Pomelo is the seventh fresh fruit of Vietnam to be licensed to enter the US market, following mango, longan, lychee, dragon fruit, rambutan, and star apple. The PPD will work with APHIS to check the growing area and processing facilities, build Dose mapping (irradiation establishments) before sending first batch of pomelo to the US.

What do you judge about Bac Giang’s chance to export pomelo to this market?

Bac Giang now has 5,669 hectares of pomelo with estimated productivity of over 45,000 tonnes per year, mostly in Luc Ngan (2,700 hectares), Tan Yen (680 hectares), Luc Nam (670 hectares), and Yen The (660 hectares) among others.

The agriculture sector has regently paid due attention to guiding the pomelo production in line with VietGAP, GlobalGAP and organic standard, helping improve the product quality and apperance to meet standard of choosy markets like US, EU and others.

The US has great demand for fruit, up to 12 million tonnes each year. Its domestic production has met just 70% of the demand while the remaining 30%, equivalent to 3.6 million tonnes, is imported. It is a great chance for Bac Giang pomelo to enter this market, following the success export of lychee.

What are the standards to export pomelo to the US?

As the US’s regulation, the pomelo growing area and processing facilities of Vietnam must register to APHIS. The fresh fruit is free from Bactrocera dorsalis, Zeugodacus cucurbitae, Prays endocarpa, Cylindrocarpon lichenicola and Phyllosticta citriasiana.

Special attention must be paid to apply management measure regarding to the Cylindrocarpon lichenicola and Phyllosticta citriasiana by removing all dropped fruits before inputing in packing house, cleaning and treating fungus and coating wax the whole fruit, removing all leaves, stems and other parts of the tree, irradiating the fruit with minimum dose of 150 Gy and getting phytosanitory certificate from PPD.

What are the focal solutions in Bac Giang toward successful export of pomelo?

In the upcoming time, the provincial agriculture sector will cooperate with localities to review and assess the centralized growing areas with sufficient export condition to proceed registration document of growing area code (GAC); update enough information on national database of GAC and packing facility; provide training course for farmers; arrange sufficient sources for establishing and managing the GAC and packing facility to meet the requirement.

The competent agencies are urged to well manage the technical issues to ensure the US phytosanitary requirement and strictly supervise the caring record.

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The organic pomelo garden in Thanh Hai commune (Luc Ngan district).

The province will take advantage of PPD on professional issue, attract qualified exporters to ink consumption contract at the provincial GAC that meet export condition to the US.

Basing on experience to export Bac Giang lychee to this market, what is the key factor to introduce pomelo to the US?

In addition to the above mentioned solutions, the qualification of the export business is the decisive one. Apart from ensuring the US’s requirement about GAC, phytosantitary, food hygiene and safety in line with USDA standard, the packing and irradiation facilities must be approved by the US.

Now, only Son Son Company in Vietnam is certified by the US for irradiation requirement. In the upcomine time, the partner will consider to license Toan Phat Company.

But two facilities are in sounthern localities, so it is neccesary to have strict collaboration between the competent agencies and business to satisfy the US requirement toward a smooth export of pomelo.

When competent agencies in Vietnam and US finalize all procedures and export criteria for exporting pomelo, Bac Giang will tap the available advantages and strive to be one of the first localities in Vietnam to bring fresh pomelo to US customer.

Thank you very much!

Trinh Lan

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