A farmer harvests rambutan in the southern area of Vietnam (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) –
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and the New Zealand Embassy in Vietnam announced the export of Vietnamese rambutan to New Zealand in Hanoi on April 10.

Rambutan is the third fruit of Vietnam to be exported to this market, after mango and dragon fruit.

Director of the MARD’s Plant Protection Department Hoang Trung said to export rambutan to New Zealand, Vietnam needs to meet import requirements such as making dossiers to register rambutan farms, which will be granted code numbers on cultivation method, control of harmful pests, production as regulated and right use of plant production medicine.
 
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In addition, packaging units must register and be certified by the department to meet New Zealand’s requirements for packaging and labeling, according to Trung. Irradiation facilities to treat the fruit must be certified by the department as being qualified to ensure the treatment of rambutan for export meet New Zealand’s requirements.

All batches of rambutan will be checked and granted quarantine certificates by the department, to ensure the fruits are free of infection with harmful bacteria.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Quoc Doanh said the announcement event marked a milestone in the agricultural cooperation between Vietnam and New Zealand, especially trade of agri-products.

It also confirms the advantage of the Vietnamese fruit and proves its quality has been improved because New Zealand strictly controls quality and quarantine of plants, he added.

Furthermore, the entry of rambutan in New Zealand also means opportunities to export to other countries with equally tough restrictions, he noted.

The deputy minister added that his ministry will focus on directing the research and application of advanced science and technology in farming, preservation and processing. It will also reorganise production, especially the value chain of farm produce, so that Vietnam has enough high quality and safe agricultural products that meet the increasing standards of importing countries.

Dam Quang Thang, General Director of Agricare which exports rambutan to New Zealand, said his company will seek more New Zealand partners to expand export to this market.

Vietnam earned a record 3.45 billion USD from fruit and vegetable exports in 2017, a year-on-year rise of 40.5 percent, much higher than traditional staples like rice, crude oil and coffee.

In January-March this year, Vietnam raked in 960 million USD from fruit and vegetable exports, up 35.6 percent against the same period last year.-VNA