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Vietnam to upgrade dragon fruit quality, aiming European markets

Vietnamese farmers will be trained to produce dragon fruits that meet stringent standards with stable outputs to supply European importers.

Hanoi (SVBG) – A project sponsored by the Dutch government to help farmers in four southern provinces of Binh Thuan, Long An, Ben Tre and Dong Thap to improve the quality of dragon fruit, mango and green-skinned pomelo has kicked off recently.

Dragon fruit, which is rich in antioxidants like flavonoids, phenolic acid, and betacyanin, is one of the famous export produce of Vietnam.

The fruit’s export market, however, is mainly China for the moment, while its plantation area has rapidly expanded to about 60,000 ha recently.

The project therefore aims to enhance the chances for exports of the fruit to the European market, said Peter Prins, the project coordinator, at a recent webinar organized by an affiliate of Eurofins Scientific testing laboratories company.

The project, titled “Vietnam Tropical Fruit Quality Improvement” and to be implemented until March 2024, does not intentionally change farming habits too much, but offers tools, solutions, and irrigation technology to help farmers enjoy higher yield, he added. 

Particularly, it will introduce and apply Eurofins’ soil quality control technology in the Netherlands for dragon fruit plantation.

In addition to product quality and a trustworthy long-term supply planning, control over the use of pesticides is an important factor for the export of dragon fruit to Europe. 

“Continuously monitor the pesticides used and the time of harvest to ensure residues do not exceed thresholds,” emphasized John Duffill, CEO of John Crop Development Vietnam, at the webinar.

Vietnamese exporters are advised to learn about eligible substances and the accurate amount required by each importer. They then inform the fruit growers. 

In addition to the Netherlands, countries in western and eastern Europe are viewed as potential importers of Vietnam’s dragon fruits, said Duffill, who has had many years of experience searching and developing sources of qualified fruits in Vietnam to supply retail chains in the EU and UK. SVBG