Tan Yen fresh lychees hit shelves in Japan

Lychees grown in Tan Yen district, the northern province of Bac Giang have made their way to stores in Japan this year.

The first shipment of early-ripening lychee was sent to the East Asian country at a ceremony at the end of May. From May 24-26, around 20 tonnes were exported to Japan.

This is the second year that the local staple has been exported to this fastidious market, and the achievement is more special as it is attained during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chairman of the Bac Giang provincial People’s Committee Le Anh Duong said local authorities have taken measures to ensure the quality, food safety and hygiene of the fruit.

Phan The Tuan, vice chairman of the provincial People’s Committee said in the context of complicated changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Bac Giang province has built strong lychee growing areas, especially in Tan Yen and Luc Ngan districts.

The province has prepared necessary conditions to ensure absolute safety in terms of health, security and order for businesses, traders, and drivers entering Bac Giang to purchase and consume lychee. The first shipment of lychees exported to Japan, a large market with very high quality standards, has shown the locality’s determination, seriousness and responsibility in the process of producing and consuming lychee, he added.

The authorities also actively worked with the Japanese Embassy in Vietnam to receive a Geographical Indication (GI) certificate for lychees grown in Luc Ngan district, making it the first Vietnamese product to obtain such certification from Japan.

Since the pandemic has seen complicated developments, particularly as Bac Giang is now one of the country’s hotspots, the provincial authorities have well prepared for lychees consumption this year.

Nguyen Viet Toan, Chairman of Tan Yen District People's Committee, said, “In 2021, in the context of the COVID-19, the district will focus on protecting lychee areas from the pandemic such as persuading local residents to refrain from travelling out of the areas, setting up checkpoints to control people and vehicles entering the concentrated lychee area, and keeping close health monitoring of local farmers as well as seasonal labourers working in fruit harvesting and transport.”

This year, Bac Giang province has around 28,100 ha of lychees with an estimated output of more than 180,000 tonnes, an increase of 15,000 tonnes year-on-year. This includes 45,000 tonnes of early-ripening lychee harvested on an estimated area of 6,050 ha along with 135,000 tonnes of lychee from the main crop on an area of 22,050 ha.

“The Tan Yen early-ripening lychee has the best quality so far, ensuring food hygiene and safety and not affected by COVID-19,” he added.

The district cultivates lychee in an area of 1,329 hectares, 1,200 hectares of which are set aside for early-ripening lychee.

Many traders have come to survey and sign contract to purchase early-ripening lychees, he said, stressing each kilogramme is sold at VND25,000 - 30,000 (US$1.09 – 1.3), particularly the price is VND55,000 per kilogramme for the Japanese market, and the prices are expected to increase in the coming time.

Last year, Bac Giang shipped 200 tonnes of thieu lychee to Japan.

A year after Japan first opened its market to Vietnamese lychees, the export and consumption of the fruit have been going smoothly despite COVID-19, Vietnam’s trade office in the Northeast Asian country said.

Vietnam began negotiating lychee exports to Japan in 2014. After five years, on December 15, 2019, Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries announced that Japan had officially opened its market to Vietnamese lychees but also requested that the fruit undergo a strict plant quarantine process prior to export.

In early June 2020, an agricultural expert from Japan was sent to Vietnam to monitor fruit packaging and sterilisation, completing the final step required by Japan for lychees to be shipped to the market.

Thieu lychees have been exported to 30 countries such as China and the EU, Russia, the US and Canada.

Lychee is the fourth kind of fruit from Vietnam that has successfully made inroad into the Japanese market, following dragon fruit, mango and banana.

Mời quý độc giả theo dõi VOV.VN trên