Building plans to produce and consume lychee in 2020 season

Wednesday, 2020-04-29 18:17:48
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A delegation from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development inspect lychee farming in Bac Giang province.
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NDO - With more than 28,000 ha of lychee, the northern province of Bac Giang is expected to harvest over 160,000 tonnes of lychee this season, an increase of 10,000 tonnes compared to the 2019 season. Amid the complicated COVID-19 pandemic, Bac Giang has built several options to take the initiative in producing and consuming the fruit with a focus on boosting the domestic consumption.

This year’s lychee volume expected to increase by 10,000 tonnes

According to a report of Bac Giang Provincial People's Committee, the province is estimated to pick 160,000 tonnes of lychee during this year’s season, including 45,000 tonnes of early maturing lychee and over 115,000 tonnes of the main fruit crop.

The province has 15,000 ha of lychee farming meeting VietGAP standards, accounting for 53% of the total lychee farming area which is estimated to produce 110,000 tonnes of lychee, occupying nearly 69% of the total output.

In addition, the province has 80 ha of lychee meeting GlobalGAP standards with an estimated volume of 500 tonnes to serve high-end markets. Specifically, 19 cultivation area codes were granted to 103ha of lychee in the communes of Hong Giang, Nam Duong, Tan Son, Quy Son, Giap Son, and Ho Dap in Luc Ngan district and Phuc Hoa commune in Tan Yen district to export the fruit to Japan.

Early maturing lychee is scheduled to be harvested from May 20 to June 5 and the lychee of the main crop is expected to be picked from June 10.

Chairman of Bac Giang Provincial People’s Committee Duong Van Thai said the province’s preparations for the export of lychee to Japan have been completed. The province will focus on expanding consumption markets, particularly established markets in addition to creating the most favourable conditions for enterprises to come to the locality to buy lychee.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Bac Giang has actively outlined specific scenarios to consume the fruit, Thai noted, adding that the province expects relevant ministries and agencies to support the province in the export of the fruit.

According to the province’s forecast, the most favourable scenario is that the fruit can be exported to both established and new markets. The second scenario is that enterprises will have to struggle to export the fruit and the worst case scenario is that the fruit cannot be exported due to the pandemic, Thai said.

Given the complicated developments of the pandemic, the province will attach special importance to the domestic market and will stand ready to face any of the three scenarios in order to facilitate lychee farmers and traders, the province’s leader added.

“The domestic market is a vibrant market with approximately 100 million people and if the province can make use of the domestic market, it will not have to worry about the consumption market for the lychee,” Thai added.

Having a bumper crop of lychee at good prices

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong expressed his appreciation for Bac Giang’s scenarios for the production and export of lychee and its crop structure with 30% of early maturing fruit in this year’s season. However, he emphasised that the province should review its scenarios more carefully.

Cuong said this lychee season will still be affected by two factors including unfavourable weather conditions that may affect fruit quality and the COVID-19 pandemic which will disrupt markets, particularly export markets.

Therefore, Bac Giang province should pay attention to farming techniques and plant protection to have a bumper crop at good prices.

According to the minister, the first months of this year have seen warmer weather with continuous rains but there remain only three weeks to harvest the fruit, requiring special care for the plant to ensure the quality of the fruit.

“The comprehensive impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will cause disruption to the market, particularly export markets, thus, if we do not make good preparations, the supply will be interrupted,” Minister Cuong said.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has actively worked with provinces and cities on the consumption of agricultural products, particularly with Bac Giang province, a locality occupying 50% of the nation’s total lychee volume, in order to build proactive solutions to continue the enjoyment of a year of good harvest and prices.