A box of 12 litchis with stamps of traceability is sold at 200,000 VND. (Photo:baobacgiang.com.vn)

Bac Giang (VNA) – Farmers in the northern province of Bac Giang finished this year’s litchi crop with a sigh of relief as earnings from the fruit and supporting services reach all-time high of over 6.5 trillion VND (281.1 million USD).

The provincial Department of Industry and Trade reported around 147,030 tonnes of litchi were consumed in both domestic and foreign markets. Although the output only accounted for 68.1 percent of that in the 2018 crop, earning was 1.2 trillion VND higher, standing at 4.6 trillion VND.

Average price of the fruit reached 31,800 VND per kilogramme, up 15,800 VND from the previous crop.

Particularly, some households growing litchi with organic methods enjoyed much higher profits as consumers were willing to pay some 200,000 VND for a box of 12 pieces with stamps of traceability.

Cao Van Hoan, Vice Chairman of the Luc Ngan District People’s Committee, said the quality of the fruit this year has been the best so far. Therefore, farmers earned more despite lower output.

This has been the first year Luc Ngan district piloted planting organic litchi on an area of 20ha, providing clean and safe products. The application of a modern production process helped Luc Ngan litchi fetch prices three to seven times over those of previous years.

Organic litchi is expected to win the preference of consumers in high-quality and choosy markets globally.

Up to 79,618 tonnes of litchi were set aside for export, 99.1 percent of which was destined to China while the remaining, for the Middle East, the EU, Russia, the US, Canada, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Thailand and Australia, among others.

This year, Bac Giang province cultivated litchi on more than 28,000 hectares, comprising 13,855 hectares under VietGAP, 218 hectares under GlobalGAP, and 20 hectares under organic standard.

China granted codes to 149 litchi growing areas in Bac Giang province, with a total area of over 16,000 hectares. There are 86 packaging and processing facilities qualified to export litchi to the East Asian country.

In the past time, Bac Giang province has instructed local farmers to expand their growing areas in line with VietGAP and GlobalGAP standards so that the harvests are safe enough to reach out to the world, especially markets that have strict requirements in terms of food safety and hygiene like the US, Australia, the EU and Japan.

Meanwhile, the People’s Committees at the district level were urged to develop cooperative models and enhance application of advanced technologies in production. Besides, constant supervision was made to ensure the exports were processed in accordance with the set standards.

The northern region of Vietnam is ideal for litchi production. Warm weather in the summer perfectly complements the colder winter months that are essential to assure the successful development of the flower buds. Bac Giang is known as the largest concentrated fruit growing area in the north which has a total area of nearly 50,000ha. Its litchi areas are seen as the largest hub in the country with an annual output of more than 150,000 tonnes.
The brand name of Bac Giang litchi is protected in eight countries including the Republic of Korea, China, Japan, Singapore and Australia.

Last year, the fruit was certified by the Southeast Asian Records Organisation as one of the Top 10 specialities of Southeast Asia.

Vietnam is currently the second largest exporter of litchi in the world. Around 19 percent of the fruit consumed globally is grown right here.

Early signs for the coming year are positive, but to stay at the top of the game, all involved in the business must remain dedicated and innovative.

Only then will the farmers continue to enjoy the sweet success of litchi and benefit from the fruit of their labour.-VNA