New Zealand is set to begin a 5-year programme to enhance the value of Vietnamese dragon fruits and help the country become a global leading exporter of the tropical fruit.

Under the programme, New Zealand’s Plan & Food Research Institute will work with Vietnamese experts from the Southern Horticultural Research Institute (SOFRI) and the Sub-Institute for Agricultural Engineering and Post-harvest Technology (SIAEP) to produce high quality, different disease resistant dragon fruits.

Besides, the project aims to support the advancement of the country’s developing dragon fruit industry and improve incomes for dragon fruit growers and those who get involved in the supply chain, through the development of sustainable production techniques and post-harvest systems that meet high-value international market requirements.

It will also help train and up-skill local growers and pack-house workers, improving efficiency of production for farmers and quality of products.

According to the New Zealand institute, the project will create a model for other cooperation programmes in order to develop tropical fruit trees. The long term goal includes the development of international brand.-VNA