|Farmers harvest lychee in Luc Ngan district, the northern province of Bac Giang (Photo: VNA)
The Australian Department of Agriculture recently permitted the Hanoi Irradiation Centre to handle the lychee, mango and longan destined for the country, according to the Plant Protection Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The Vietnamese agency said it will work closely with the Hanoi Irradiation Centre and companies to comply with Australia’s requirements.
It noted that to promote the shipment of fresh fruits produced in the north to demanding markets, including Australia, it has boosted negotiations with other countries to include the Hanoi centre among the facilities eligible to handle fresh fruit for export.
Exporters usually have to send longan and lychee to Ho Chi Minh City for irradiation since only the southern metropolis had irradiation facilities recognised by Australia.
They said irradiation in the north will help reduce transportation costs by at least VND20,000 (over US$0.8) per kg and the time by more than half a day, not to mention lower irradiation expenses.
So far, Australia has opened its market for dragon fruit, lychee, mango and longan from Vietnam, with the former handled by steam and the latter by irradiation.
In the first quarter of 2020, Vietnam exported US$836 million worth of fruit and vegetables, a year-on-year decline of 10.9%, data from the agriculture ministry show.