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Government permits Chinese traders to enter Vietnam to buy lychees

Malie Nguyen Malie Nguyen

Dieuhuong270198@gmail.com

May 16, 2021 | 07:41

The government has given permission for 190 Chinese traders to enter Vietnam to buy lychees in the northern province of Bac Giang.

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Government permits Chinese traders to enter Vietnam to buy lychees
Farmers harvest lychees in Luc Ngan District, Bac Giang Province. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy.

They will enter through Lang Son Province, where, at the border, they have to furnish Covid-19 negative certificates issued by competent Chinese authorities.

They will be tested for the coronavirus and quarantined before they are allowed to visit lychee farms, VnExpress reported.

Bac Giang has 28,000 hectares under the fruit and expects to harvest 180,000 tons this year, up 8 percent from 2020, according to its Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The harvest will take two months starting in May end.

The local Department of Industry and Trade estimated that if the pandemic is contained around 47 percent of the lychees harvested would be exported to China, and 2.5 percent to Japan, Australia, the E.U., and the U.S.

If the pandemic situation worsens but still remains under control, 28 percent could go to China.

To protect the lychee farming area from the pandemic, the province quarantines every individual who comes into contact with Covid-19 patients and has set up checkpoints on roads leading to the area.

Visitors have their temperature checked and have to provide medical declarations at the checkpoints, and vehicles are disinfected.

Government permits Chinese traders to enter Vietnam to buy lychees
A farmer prepares to transport lychees on a motorbike in Luc Ngan District, Bac Giang Province in June 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Giang Huy.

Vu Viet Anh, deputy director of Hai Duong Department of Agriculture and Rural Development said many foreign traders have registered to enter Vietnam to buy lychees from the northern province.

He said foreign importers, especially those from Japan, used to send their experts to Vietnam to supervise the processing and packaging of lychees. This year, however, the Japanese have shifted to supervising through surveillance cameras due to the impact of Covid-19.

Chinese importers had already set up packaging firms right in Hai Duong province’s Thanh Ha District and Chi Linh City years ago, he added.

"The province welcomes merchants and enterprises to buy the province’s lychees, however, foreigners must comply with Covid-19 prevention measures," he stressed.

Lychees grown in Hai Duong Province have also been sold on e-commerce platforms Voso, Sendo, Lazada, and China’s Alibaba, according to the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency.

Government permits Chinese traders to enter Vietnam to buy lychees

Lychee farmers in northern Hai Duong Province take their produce to a market. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh.

It would be the first time that the fruits are sold online, and the agency said the biggest hurdle to this is farmers’ lack of knowledge of e-commerce, online marketing, selling and customer support, and quality control.

It has collaborated with the northern province’s Departments of Agriculture and Rural Development and Industry and Trade to provide training to lychee farmers and traders in setting up and operating stores on the four e-commerce platforms.

Hai Duong harvested 43,000 tons of lychee last year and exported half of it, including 1,600 tons to Japan, Australia, and the U.S. It expects to harvest 55,000 tons this year, and export half to China.

The northern provinces of Bac Giang and Hai Duong are Vietnam’s lychee growing hubs, with the former having the largest area for lychee cultivation, which was 28,000 hectares last year, according to Bac Giang Portal. Hai Duong province came in second with 10,000 hectares, the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development reported.

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Malie Nguyen