Vietnam looks to China for Chi Lang custard apple exports
Chi Lang District in the northern mountainous province of Lang Son is renowned for its high quality custard apple, with growers seeking to increase domestic sales and exports to China through official trade channels.
Chi Lang custard apple is gradually conquering the market
Custard apple is planted on a total area of over 1,600ha in Chi Lang, yielding an output of more than 16,000 tonnes of fruit worth an estimated VND600 billion in 2019, including more than 200ha based on the Vietnamese Good Agricultural Practices (VietGAP).
A custard apple grower in Lang Son, Do Thi My, said that following VietGAP standards has helped increase the fruit’s productivity and quality, allowing her to sell them for VND30,000-50,000 per kilo, 1.5 times the previous price. High-quality, big fruits can be sold for VND70,000-80,000 per kilo, My said. Her household has 1,800 square meters growing 600 custard apple trees, yielding an estimated 10 tonnes of fruit in 2019. My’s family is expected to earn VND300-500 million from custard apples in 2019. However, Chi Lang custard apple needs to be distributed by major traders so it can reach bigger, farther markets, she said.
The fruit is providing jobs and income for about 3,500 households in nine communes and towns of Chi Lang District. Local authorities are working to help farmers seek and expand markets. Starting in 2017, the district has held an annual Chi Lang Custard Apple Festival and participated in a farm produce week in Hanoi, the capital.
This year, the two events took place from August 11-21 in Chi Lang and Hanoi. Chi Lang District People’s Committee Chairman Dinh Huu Hoc said the events were designed to honor organizations and individuals who have contributed to developing Chi Lang custard apples, and provide an opportunity for farmers, cooperatives and other businesses to promote and expand their markets.
Within the framework of these two events, the district people’s committee asked relevant agencies and farmers to promote the fruit through the media, improve product quality and comply with origin traceability regulations to reach the shelves of major supermarkets in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
The district people’s committee wants Lang Son Province to propose that the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Ministry of Industry and Trade negotiate with China on the export of Chi Lang custard apples through official trade. The committee will continue encouraging farmers to apply safe, organic agricultural production models, fully comply with regulations on origin traceability and labeling to improve production efficiency and competitiveness in order to export Chi Lang custard apples.
Dinh Huu Hoc, Chairman of Chi Lang District People’s Committee:
Chi Lang District will work to make the Chi Lang custard apple a brand not only loved in Vietnam but also foreign markets.
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