The first batches of longan exported to high-end markets have not only affirmed the quality of longan and brought high incomes to farmers but also opened up many opportunities for Chi Linh longan growers.
Workers of Ho Chi Minh city-based Red Dragon Co., Ltd. preliminarily process longan before export
Having attached to longan for years, Nguyen Dinh Xuyen in Da Bac 2 hamlet, Hoang Hoa Tham commune, joyfully said: "We were very excited when longan could be exported to high-end markets. It proved that the quality of our agricultural products was guaranteed and met high requirements of customers."
Xuyen's family has grown 2 ha of longan for 13 years. Each year, his family harvests dozens of tons of longan. Aside from acquaintances, he mainly sells longan in the free market. Price depends on yield, if the yield is low, the selling price will be high and vice versa.
Though Xuyen grows longan under VietGAP process, its selling price in the market is only slightly higher than that of longan cultivated by conventional method; therefore, there is no clear difference in profit. Hence, when longan was bought by businesses for export at higher prices, he was very excited.
"When chosen to participate in a VietGAP production area, I only intended to learn more cultivation experience without thinking that products could be exported. Therefore, when Red Dragon Co., Ltd. announced that longan was eligible for export, we were very happy," said Nguyen Van Phuc in Le Loi commune.
Recently, his family has sold one ton to the company for VND15,000/kg, VND5,000/kg higher than the price of longan outside VietGAP areas. It means that export longan growers made an additional profit of VND5 million on each ton compared to selling longan in the domestic market.
Special importance attached to quality
Though longan export has been allowed since 2016, this is the first year Hai Duong longan has been exported to such fastidious markets as Australia, Singapore, etc.
Determining that the export of longan would mark an important success in promoting the export of agricultural products to foreign markets, so as soon as the provincial People's Committee issued the "Plan to expand export longan and lychee areas following international standards and activities to promote the trading of farm produce in 2020" last March, the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development coordinated with Chi Linh city authorities to carry out necessary activities to export longan to high-end markets.
Out of 673 ha of longan in the city, units reviewed and selected nearly 51 ha of 113 farming households in the communes and wards of Le Loi, Hoang Hoa Tham, Hoang Tien, and Hoang Tan to join in internationally-standardized longan cultivation areas.
The households were trained in and counseled on production under VietGAP and GlobalGAP standards, anti-pest techniques, plant protection products recommended for export areas, the quarantine of plant protection products to meet export conditions, production diary recording, etc.
The Plant Protection Sub-department assigned technicians to stick to growing areas; go to gardens to instruct farmers on pest prevention and control; test plant protection products to assess their effectiveness on longan; analyze residues after spraying to guide farmers on how to use, quarantine, and monitor the quarantine of plant protection products before harvest in accordance with export requirements; and periodically take samples to check the residues of plant protection products and control types to proactively ensure standard raw materials.
To help control types and quarantine, at the end of the crop, the Plant Protection Sub-department coordinated with local authorities in drug distribution. All longan gardens eligible for export were granted growing area codes by the Plant Protection Department.
Together with quality improvement, the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has organized a lot of consumption connection meetings with farm produce exporters in and outside the province to promote product consumption.
Through these meetings, enterprises understood the cultivation process and quality of Hai Duong longan.
"The appearance and quality of Chi Linh longan are fairly good. Through inspections, longan quality met all requirements. We have purchased nearly 30 tons for export to Singapore and Australia and will buy more in the coming time," said Pham Thi My, an employee of Red Dragon Co., Ltd.