A farmer in Tien Giang collects star apples (Photo: VNA)
 
Tien Giang (VNA) – The Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang aims to ship 300 tonnes of star apples to the United States until the end of the 2018-2019 crop, raising the shipment of the fruit to 400 tonnes, or three times compared to the previous year.

This is the second year Tien Giang has shipped fresh star apple to the US. To date, the province has exported more than 100 tonnes of the fruit to the market. 

Tien Giang is home to about 450 ha of star apple, yielding up to 4,500 tonnes per year, mainly in farms across the districts of Chau Thanh, Cai Lay and Cai Be. These farms grow over 100 hectares of the fruit which has been verified and labelled with code stamps to trace its origin.

Vice head of the cultivation and plant protection sub-department of the province Vo Van Men said to ensure quality of star apple for the US market, competent agencies have focused on technical transfer under GAP standards, food safety and trace of origin, as well as advised farmers to not use any herbicides prohibited in the US.

The first batch of Vietnamese star apples arrived in the US in December 2017, making Vietnam the first country licensed to sell fresh star apples to the demanding market, following years of negotiations, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Star apple is among six Vietnamese fruits allowed into the American market, together with litchi, longan, rambutan, dragon fruit, and mango.

Tien Giang boasts the country’s largest orchard area with some 73,000 hectares, which yield around 1.4 million tonnes of fruits a year.–VNA