Irradiation facilities benefit fruit exporters

Tuesday, Jun 28, 2016 09:24

Vietnamese lychees are displayed at a supermarket in Australia. The operation of an irradiation centre in Ha Noi helps lychee exporters save on storage and transportation costs as well as time. —  Photo Viet Nam in Australia
HA NOI (Biz Hub) — The provision of irradiation services for fresh fruit exports in Ha Noi has created many benefits for enterprises, experts have said.

The Ha Noi Irradiation Centre (HIC) on June 23 for the first time irradiated two tonnes of lychees destined for Australia. The centre was expected to help lychee exporters save on storage and transportation costs as well as time, as they did not need to ship the lychees to the south for irradiation treatment, said Dam Quang Thang, director of Agricare Viet Nam, one of the two companies getting their lychees irradiated at the HIC.

In working with the HIC, the company had reduced its irradiation costs by VND20,000 per kilogramme of lychees compared with having them irradiated in HCM City, so the move was better for the business in terms of corporate benefits, he said.

On the same day, Rong Do Manufacturing, Commerce and Services Company also brought lychees to the HIC for treatment.

Nguyen Quang Thieu, director of the HIC, said the irradiation time for each batch of products was some 1.5 hours and the irradiation capacity at the centre had reached 20-30 tonnes per day. After the irradiation process, all products reaching export standards are transported to the airport.

Thieu said the centre was scheduled to irradiate 10 tonnes of lychees for Rong Do Company for export to Australia. In addition, some six other companies have registered for irradiation services at the centre for their export products.

The centre expects to provide irradiation services for 100 tonnes of export-bound lychees this year, he said.

Hoang Trung, head of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development's Plant Protection Department, said Australia was currently one of the most demanding export markets. However, in recent years, Viet Nam's lychees have entered the market, and these exports have brought high income for farmers and enterprises.

On June 20, 2016, the HIC received official certification from Australia's Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, he said. This would be an advantage for lychee exporters because the northern region supplies most of the country's lychees for export.

Irradiation is a safe technology that helps kill bacteria and micro-organisms and keeps fruit fresh for longer periods, even up to a few months.

Lychee exports

The northern province of Bac Giang by June 22 exported over 32,200 tonnes of lychees, a provincial specialty, to China, the United States, Australia and Malaysia, accounting for nearly 25 per cent of the province's total production in 2016.

According to the provincial Department of Industry and Trade, 32,200 tonnes were shipped to China through the Lang Son, Lao Cai and Ha Giang border gates. Meanwhile, 13 tonnes were sent to the United States, Australia and Malaysia.

This year, lychee exporters are expanding their markets to Poland and the Middle East, the department added.

As part of efforts to back exporters, the department has co-ordinated with authorised agencies in the border provinces of Lao Cai and Lang Son to provide updates on the market situation and on any new policies in China, while promoting lychees in the mass media in China, the United States, France, Australia and Malaysia.

From this year's crop, Bac Giang's total lychee production was estimated to reach 130,000 tonnes, including 59,450 tonnes meeting VietGap standards. So far, 54,200 tonnes, or 39 per cent of the total lychee crop, have been harvested.

Luc Ngan District, the largest "thieu" lychee producer in Bac Giang, has 158ha of land dedicated to producing some 1,000 tonnes of lychees to the GlobalGap standard.

Along with exports, Bac Giang has also sold some 8,000 tonnes of lychees to the domestic market, especially in the southern localities. — VNS

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