Durian to make breakthrough for Vietnam’s fruit exports

The export of Vietnamese durian to China through the official channel since September 2022 opened up a new prospect for Vietnam’s fruit and vegetable industry.

According to statistics from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), Vietnam has over 100,000 ha of durian with an annual output of about 1.3 million tonnes. However, only 3,000 ha (3%) of the total meet standards for export to China.

The Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang and the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak have the largest durian areas meeting export standards in the country.

According to the Deputy General Director of Dung Thai Son Import-Export Company, Vu Ngoc Huy, China is a large market with a strong durian consumption capacity.

The firm can export 500,000 tonnes of fresh durian per year, accounting for over one-third of the total durian output of the country, Huy said.

La Tran Vinh, Director of Vinh Khang Cooperative in Tien Giang, said the cooperative has worked with farmers in Mekong Delta localities such as Tien Giang, Can Tho, Vinh Long, and Ben Tre, and the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak to grow a total of over 100 ha of the fruit.

All durian from the localities will be provided for Chanh Thu Fruit Import-Export Group JSC to export to the Chinese market via the official channel, he said.

After China officially opened its door to durian, Vietnamese farmers have more opportunities to develop this crop, he noted.

To promote the export of the product to this billion-strong market, Hoang Trung, Director of the MARD’s Plant Protection Department, recommended that export enterprises and farmers must regularly update and strictly comply with regulations on quality standards, testing, quarantine, packaging, and traceability of the Chinese market.

China’s customs authorities have approved Vietnam’s 51 farming area codes and 26 packaging facility codes that fully meet the requirements for export to the Chinese market, Trung said.

The MARD has asked authorities of southern localities to improve the quality of the durian value chain, toward meeting standards for exporting the fruit, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Minh Hoan said.

Specialised agencies have been tasked with identifying areas where durian can be grown sustainably, while localities have been urged to have policies for boosting the connection between farmers and export enterprises, he added.