Bac Giang’s lychees to be sold on e-commerce platforms hinh anh 1Bac Giang lychees (Photo: VNA)
Bac Giang (VNA) – Lychees grown in the northern province of Bac Giang, which is being hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, will be put up for sale on major e-commerce platforms in the next three and four days.

The Vietnam e-Commerce and Digital Economy Agency (IDEA) said on June 2 that it had worked with the provincial People’s Committee and e-commerce platforms such as Sendo, Voso of Viettel Post, Tiki, Shopee and Postmart of VNPost to sell Bac Giang lychees.

The fruits will be transported by refrigerator trucks or by air to ensure its quality.

Amidst complicated developments of the pandemic, the sale of lychees online is considered one of the most effective measures to help farmers expand the consumption market throughout 63 provinces and cities.

This year, Bac Giang has around 28,100 ha of lychees with an estimated output of more than 180,000 tonnes, an increase of 15,000 tonnes year-on-year. This includes 45,000 tonnes of early-ripening lychee harvested on an estimated area of 6,050 ha along with 135,000 tonnes of lychee from the main crop on an area of 22,050 ha.

First batches of lychee in the 2021 crop of Bac Giang left for Japan on flights arranged by national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines on early May 27.

The flights, carrying close to 10 tonnes of the tropical fruit, are bound for two major Japanese cities of Tokyo and Osaka.

Additionally, Vietnam Airlines has joined hands with Bac Giang to increase flights in an effort to ensure domestic supply and provide optimal transport for the province’s goods and farm produce in particular.

Vietnamese lychees have made a noise in the year since they first arrived in Japan. Initially introduced at the AEON supermarket chain in June 2020, lychees have been bought by Japanese consumers and also the local Vietnamese community. Many Japanese customers have praised the freshness of the lychees and bought for their families and friends.

With a growing number of Vietnamese living and working in Japan, there has been an increase in demand for the fruit. The lychees have even become the first story to be discussed when Japanese people and their Vietnamese friends before they mentioned main affairs.

Sales of lychees and other farm produce on online marketplaces require efforts from various stakeholders. A programme was piloted last year and is now proceeding in the face of COVID-19, said Hoang Minh Chien, Vice Director of the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency (VIETRADE) at the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

He noted that online sales face difficulties in supply, as it takes many steps for products to reach consumers and strict preservation methods are needed.

Quality commitments to customers are also a matter of concern because Vietnamese prefer to buy agro products in-person to directly examine the quality. When choosing products online, they need appraisals from relevant agencies and commitments from stakeholders in the supply chain.

The greatest barrier is the lack of knowledge among farmers about online sales, Chien pointed out, adding that many growers find it difficult to offer their products and attract customers on the channel.

Local authorities must devise incentives for farmers to apply digital technology in farm produce cultivation and consumption, he underlined.

Other agro products to hit e-commerce sites

Following lychees, other fruit in season will be sold on e-commerce platforms, in particular mangoes and plums from Son La, longans from Hung Yen, and dragon fruits from Binh Thuan.

Farmers are advised to diversify and thoroughly study demand in markets, build their brands, and pay due regard to packaging.

Vietnamese agro products will hold more advantages in the global market if digitalisation and advanced technology are applied efficiently, Chien said.

In March, VIETRADE joined hands with certain online marketplaces to sell agro products from Hai Duong after social distancing measures were imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19./.