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20/02/2020 - 10:06

Restructuring market to consume dragon fruits

Long An has nearly 12,000 hectares of dragon fruit. Currently, the dragon fruit is in the harvest season but its consumption is facing many difficulties. The province is calling for businesses, organizations, etc. to support dragon fruit consumption, expand domestic and foreign markets.

Structuring the market

By the end of March 2020, Long An province has about 9,209 hectares of dragon fruits ready to be harvested with estimated productivity of 91,330 tons. Currently, the whole province has 160 cooperatives; cooperative groups; enterprises; dragon fruit collecting, preliminarily processing, processing and consuming establishments; in which, there are 154 dragon fruit collecting, preliminarily processing establishments (about 100 establishments have cold storage warehouses with an average of about 50 tons per warehouse); capacity of temporary storage and preservation is about 5,000 to 6,000 tons of dragon fruit, mainly owned and managed by Chinese traders; 6 establishments processing products from dragon fruit. Up to now, the province has 9,897 hectares of dragon fruit that has been granted planting area code; 120 establishments that packed fresh fruits for export were granted warehouse code; 593.53 hectares of dragon fruit are certified for production according to VietGAP standard. 

Many businesses, organizations and individuals inside and outside the province join hands to support dragon fruit farmers 

According to the Director of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development - Nguyen Thanh Truyen, recently, due to the complicated developments of the acute respiratory infections caused by new strains of Coronavirus (Covid-19), many markets and border gates to China have delayed the opening time. Therefore, Chinese purchasing partners do not accept the goods, and a large number of dragon fruits are in stock. Most collecting establishments in the province do not buy or buy dragon fruits at low prices, which greatly affects the lives of people. Currently, the province is trying to call businesses to support the consumption of dragon fruits in the domestic market as well as to plans to restructure the market by expanding markets in many countries.

At a meeting with the leaders of Long An province on February 11, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development - Mr. Nguyen Xuan Cuong highly appreciated the province's efforts in changing crops, including dragon fruit with nearly 12,000 hectares with high efficiency. According to him, difficulties in the Chinese market are not only challenges but also opportunities for Long An to restructure the market of dragon fruits in particular and other agricultural products in general. The province should well reorganize the value chain for dragon fruits from creating a large domestic consumption channel to expanding foreign markets. Especially, besides consuming fresh dragon fruits, the province should call for and expand investment as well as the processing of this fruit to create more added value. He also strongly supported leading enterprises in developing factories, warehouses, logistics systems in order to develop agriculture sustainably, escape the “high crops and low prices" paradox and better adapt to market fluctuations and socio-economic situation.

The support of businesses 

Responding to this appeal, many businesses, organizations and individuals inside and outside the province supported the people in the province; contributed initiatives to develop Vietnam's agriculture sustainably, proactively and effectively. In particular, Saigon Commercial Joint Stock Bank (SCB) participated from the beginning with many positive activities to contribute to promoting the sustainable development of Vietnam's agriculture. SCB is also one of the leading banks in providing financial support to farmers, agricultural cooperatives, and leading enterprises in preferential loans to develop factories, warehouses and logistics systems.

General director of SCB – Vo Tan Hoang Van said: “Agriculture is an important component of the national economy, farmers are occupying most of the population. However, the financial market for agriculture always faces many risks due to objective factors such as "high crops and low prices", epidemics, markets, and so on. In recent years, SCB has had many attractive credit incentives for agricultural cooperatives and farmers. However, in order to meet the financial needs for the operation of agricultural businesses in order to promote the development of Vietnam's agriculture, we should have special policies to financially support this sector, especially with leading enterprises.

General Director of Lavifood Company (Ben Luc district) - Dang Ngoc Can said: “As an enterprise specializing in processing vegetables and fruits for export to “fastidious” markets such as Korea, Japan, USA, Europe, etc., Lavifood has invested in building factories with modern technology and large capacity. Currently, the company has 2 factories in operation including Lavifood factory (Long An) with a capacity of over 10,000 tons of finished products per year and Tanifood factory (Tay Ninh) with a capacity of up to 60,000 tons of finished products per year. If the plants operate at full capacity, they can carry out more than 500 tons of raw material per day. Facing difficult situation due to disease, in order to accompany and share with the people, the company has been expanding the purchasing and processing of dragon fruits with diversified and quality products such as juice, dried or frozen dragon fruit; especially, We Love 100% natural fresh dragon fruit juice is ready to be marketed. Recently, the company purchased over 1,000 tons of dragon fruit in the province and still purchased for 12,000 VND per kg. We urgently need the support and accompaniment of other resources in society to join hands in sustainable agricultural development. SCB, Co.opmart supermarket chain, Green Start-up Fund, etc. and Lavifood signed a commitment to accompany Vietnamese.”

On this occasion, the Green Start-up Fund organized the Love Farmers program with many practical activities such as purchasing and consuming dragon fruits, supporting the transfer of science and technology to farmers, etc. In particular, Green Start-up Fund also signed an order with Lavifood to research and produce high quality, completely natural and healthy agricultural products made from dragon fruits for them to introduce to the market. All profits from these activities will be reinvested in Vietnamese farmers' and agricultural development programs.

Chairman of the Provincial People's Committee - Tran Van Can proposed: "The Government should have the policy to support electricity for cold storage (electricity price is equal to the price of electricity from the middle of February 2020 to the end of March 2020); support loans with preferential interest rates for businesses that buy, preserve and export agricultural products for a period of 6 months. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development should consider and propose the establishment of a Distribution Center for Agricultural Products in China. This will be a trading center with domestic businesses to limit risks, avoid the sudden increase in dragon fruit output, causing prices to fall. The Ministry should preside over the coordination of provinces (firstly in 3 provinces of Long An, Tien Giang and Binh Thuan) on the scattered production of dragon fruit crops; the survey and search for other agricultural export markets besides China; the support of reducing the cost of assessing VietGAP, GlobalGAP and organic certification. 

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Ministry of Industry and Trade regularly provide information to support the export of dragon fruits at the border gates of the Northern border province; continue to negotiate with China to solve difficulties in exporting agricultural products."./.

By Mai Huong - Translated by Pham Ngan