Tien Giang: 400 tonnes of star apples to set off for the US this year. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Farmers in the Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang are preparing the shipment of 400 tonnes of local well-known Lo Ren star apples to the US this year.

This is the second year Tien Giang has shipped fresh star apples to the US. Last year the province exported nearly 100 tonnes of the fruits to the market.

To fulfill the order, the star apple fruits have been collected from more than 270 farms across the districts of Cai Be, Cai Lay and Chau Thanh. These farms grow over 100 hectares of star apples which have been verified and labeled with code stamps to trace the origin of the fruit.

The farms have used advanced techniques for pesticide management as required by the US Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and made records of the star apple farming.

The first batch of Vietnamese star apples arrived in the US in December last year, making Vietnam the first and only 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.

Last year, Vietnam was estimated to have about 5,000 hectares of star apples, mainly in Tien Giang (3,100ha) and Can Tho city (1,200ha).

Tien Giang boats the country’s largest orchard area with some 73,000 hectares, which yield around 1.4 million tonnes of fruits a year. If the Mekong Delta is dubbed Vietnam’s fruit kingdom, the province should be called “the kingdom of the fruit kingdom” since it has many fruit brands such as Lo Ren Vinh Kim star apple, Hoa Loc mango and Tan Phuoc pineapple. –VNA