US President Donald Trump’s state visit to Vietnam last month helped to open the door wider for Vietnam’s fruit exports, further strengthening the two nations’ agricultural co-operation.
The US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) announced that it will soon allow the importation of fresh mango from Vietnam into the continental US, effective December 29, 2017.
This means that Vietnam will be able to raise the number of its fruit exported to the US to six, in addition to the existing dragonfruit, rambutan, lychee, longan, and star apples.
“After analysing the potential plant pest risks, APHIS scientists determined that mangoes from Vietnam can be safely imported under a systems approach,” said an APHIS announcement.
The systems approach is a raft of solutions taken by growers, packers, and shippers that, in combination, minimise pest risks before importation into the US. In this case, the systems approach for Vietnamese mangoes includes orchard or packinghouse requirements, irradiation treatment, and port of entry inspection, to protect against the introduction of plant pests and diseases.
APHIS also requires the mangoes to be imported in commercial shipments and accompanied by phytosanitary certificates verifying the fruit was produced under these conditions. The certificates are required to also
include an additional declaration stating the fruit was inspected and found free of bacterial black spots.
According to an expert from the Department of Crop Production under Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), American permission for the import followed a pledge to open the door wider to Vietnamese agricultural products, including fruit, made by US President Donald Trump.
In a joint statement released during the visit, the two nations welcomed new access for Vietnamese star apples into the US, and committed to seeking resolution of remaining agricultural trade issues with respect to catfish, shrimp, and mangoes.
More than two months ago, APHIS decided to allow Vietnam to export its star apples to the US. Vietnam is the first nation to get permission from the US to export this type of fruit to its market. Exports will begin this month.
The four types of fruit Vietnam has successfully exported into the US, namely dragonfruit, rambutan, lychee, and longan, have also been exported to some European markets.
Vietnam is currently registering more than 10 types of fruit to export to the US with APHIS.
“A rise in Vietnam’s fruit exports to the US is very important to Vietnam’s agricultural product image globally and will benefit hundreds of thousands of farmers. It will make it much easier for Vietnam to boost its agricultural products worldwide, because if we meet strict requirements from the US, we can meet requirements from many other foreign markets,” the MARD expert said.
According to MARD, in this year’s first 11 months, Vietnam hit an export turnover of $3.2 billion in exporting fruit and vegetables – up 43.1 per cent year-on-year, of which more than $2.8 billion stem from exports to China alone, which is expected to use over $3 billion this year importing these goods from Vietnam. It is expected that Vietnam will earn an export turnover of over $3.5 billion from fruit and vegetables this year.