Tien Giang star apples set for export to the US
Farmers in the Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang are preparing to ship 400 tonnes of well-known local 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 fruit to the market.
To fill the order, star 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 their origins.
The farms have used advanced techniques for pesticide management as required by the US Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), and have kept farming records.
The first batch of Vietnamese star apples arrived in the US in December last year, making Viet Nam 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, along with lychee, longan, rambutan, dragon fruit and mango.
Last year, Viet Nam was estimated to have about 5,000 cultivated hectares of star apples, mainly in Tien Giang (3,100ha) and Can Tho (1,200ha).
Tien Giang boasts the country’s largest orchard area with some 73,000 hectares, which yield around 1.4 million tonnes of fruit each year. If the Mekong Delta is Viet Nam’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 apples, Hoa Loc mangoes and Tan Phuoc pineapples.