Vietnam's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and authorities in the Mekong Delta province of Ben Tre organized a ceremony to mark the official export of the first batch of Vietnamese green-skinned pomelos to the U.S. on Monday morning.
As planned, the first shipment includes two containers of green-skinned pomelos shipped by sea and two to three metric tons transported by air to the U.S. market.
This is the seventh fruit of Vietnam allowed to be officially exported to this market, after mango, longan, lychee, dragon fruit, rambutan, and star apple.
Vietnam obtained the license from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the export of fresh pomelos after nearly six years of negotiations.
The U.S. demand for fruit is up to 12 million metric tons each year, according to the Plant Protection Department under Vietnam’s agriculture ministry.
However, its domestic production meets just 70 percent of the demand while the remaining 30 percent, equivalent to 3.6 million metric tons, is imported.
Meanwhile, Vietnam is home to 105,400 hectares of land growing pomelos with diverse varieties, generating nearly 905,000 metric of the fruit.
The Mekong Delta alone houses about 32,000 hectares, with an output of some 369,000 metric tons.
Ben Tre Province has an area of about 9,440 hectares of green-skinned pomelos with an annual output of nearly 90,000 metric tons.
|A tractor-trailer carries the first shipment of Vietnamese green-skinned pomelos to the U.S., November 28, 2022. Photo: Mau Truong / Tuoi Tre|
This creates considerable room and a great opportunity for Vietnamese fruits, including Ben Tre’s pomelo, to access the U.S. market.
To export pomelos to the U.S., the Plant Protection Department worked with relevant parties to carry out measures, especially training farmers and exporting companies on the U.S.’ import requirements.
It also maintains the use of production unit codes and strictly monitors pest contamination in fruit.
All pomelo batches to be shipped to the U.S. must be irradiated at the U.S.-recognized irradiation establishments under the supervision of the U.S. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and the Plant Protection Department.
A report from the General Department of Customs showed that Vietnam’s fruit and vegetable exports reached US$2.75 billion in the first ten months of this year.
Exports to the U.S. hit $219 million, up 19 percent over the same period last year and accounting for 10.5 percent of the total export turnover of Vietnamese vegetables and fruits.