Vietnam can now export fresh lychees to the United States (US) and Australia after the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) accepted the country’s plan of irradiation as quarantine treatment for exported lychee.

Nguyen Huu Dat, Director of the Post-Import Plant Quarantine Centre, said on May 15 that 2015 will be the first year Vietnamese lychees will be freighted to US and Australian markets where there are strict quarantine regulations on fruits.

Six approval codes were given to lychee growing areas in northern Bac Giang province and two to neighbouring Hai Duong province where production has satisfied safety standards, he said.

Technical solutions from sector authorities have finally paid off, Deputy Head of the Plant Protection Department Hoang Trung said, regarding the result as a breakthrough for the domestic lychee industry which will pave the way for the Vietnamese tropical fruit to enter other foreign markets.

This year’s lychee crops will be transported to South Vietnam for irradiation treatment until a new centre for irradiation becomes operational by the end of this year, before the 2016 crop begins.

Vietnam has also imported Cells Alive System, a Japanese quarantine technology, to preserve food for exports to Japan. The country is currently negotiating permission to apply this technology to fresh lychee and longan exports to the US and Australia.-VNA