Major markets' consecutive acceptance and expansion of official import of fresh lychee have created great opportunities and contributed to improving the position and economic value of Hai Duong province's lychee.
The export market of fresh lychee this year is wider than in the previous years
Wide-open export door
In 2015, the US and Australia gave Vietnam's fresh lychee a nod of assent; however, because of strict binds on the import process, the door to these markets was gradually narrower.
Nevertheless, thanks to negotiation efforts between parties, this year, the US and Australia have created more favorable conditions for lychee to easily approach consumers in the countries.
Another positive signal is that an agreement has been reached for lychee to be officially exported to Japan this season.
This is an opportunity for lychee to step by step escape dependence on the Chinese market and be more proactive in consumption.
Hearing about the creation of conditions for lychee to penetrate deeper into US, Japanese, and Australian markets, with many years of experience in exporting farm produce to major and fastidious markets, Red Dragon Co., Ltd. (Ho Chi Minh city) has made certain preparations for the forthcoming lychee season.
According to a representative of the company, batches of fresh lychee for export this year will no longer test items but goods.
The company is studying and choosing the best quality and safest lychee regions for export.
Hung Viet Agricultural Products JSC. (Gia Loc) is accustomed to exporting frozen lychee to Japan; therefore, the market's acceptance of fresh lychee will be a chance for the company to seek partners and increase exports.
"My company frequently updates itself on the progress of negotiations about conditions for fresh lychee to be officially exported to Japan," said director of the company Tang Xuan Truong.
"At present, Japan is assessing epidemic risks to complete a dossier on the import of fresh lychee of Vietnam.
"This is a great advantage for lychee to conquer this market legitimately, opening up a new hope for the provincial lychee.
"Fresh lychee will still mainly be exported to China; however, we will no longer be as passive as before."
Despite the opportunities given by the big countries, successful export of fresh lychee depends entirely on production.
To date, the province has developed 13 export lychee regions with a total area of 131.68 ha and an average yield of 1,300 tons/ year. In which, Thanh Ha district has nine regions covering an area of 92.68 ha, and the rest are in Chi Linh city.
Though cultivation has been localized to apply strict attention processes, it is not easy to meet the import regulations of each country.
In 2015, when the US announced its opening to fresh lychee of Vietnam, the province built three export lychee regions in Thanh Ha district.
Nguyen Duc Nhan, representative of an export lychee production group in Thanh Thuy commune recalled: "Hearing that lychee would be exported to the US, we were very excited because the market had been expanded and people would no longer suffer the devaluation of bumper crops.
"However, the amount of lychee chosen for export to the US was insignificant and gradually decreased year by year. There were even times lychee could not be exported.
"Insecure farming techniques and a lot of plant protection products left on lychee were the major reasons for the US's refusal of import. Hence, though really wanting to export lychee, many enterprises did not dare take risks.
"This year, the export of fresh lychee to fastidious markets is more feasible, so we really look forward to this lychee season."
The biggest barrier to the export of lychee to the US, Australia, and Japan is the quality of lychee. Especially, each country has its own quarantine requirements.
To enter the US market, all quarantine stages will be done in Vietnam, contrary to Australia. Therefore, if lychee exported to Australia is unqualified, the entire batch will be destroyed right in the country, causing great losses to the exporter.
Hence, the production progress must be strictly controlled to satisfy all requirements of the countries.
"As expected, Japan will officially import the first batch of fresh lychee in Hai Duong. This is an opportunity for the special farm produce of the province to reach out to the continent and the world," said Head of the Provincial Plant Protection Sub-department Luong Thi Kiem.
"Nonetheless, for successful export to the market, a safe cultivation process meeting international standards is the decisive factor.
"Our sub-department is actively offering guidance and closely monitoring lychee attention stages of people for lychee to be favorably exported."