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The Covid-19 pandemic has affected the consumption and export of many agricultural products, including fruits such as lychee, mango, plum, and dragon fruit. As several fruit trees are entering their harvest season amid the complicated development of the pandemic, local authorities have proactively taken measures to support farmers in the distribution and consumption of the fruits.

The 2021 harvest season of lychee, plum, and mango in the northern region is taking place amidst the complicated state of COVID-19. However, the local authorities have shown prompt support and measures to promote the consumption of the fruits.

In Bac Giang in particularly, this year’s lychee crop has generated over VND 6.8 trillion (over US$296 million) in revenue from fruit sales and related services for the province. With a growing area of more than 28,000 hectares, farmers in the province sold more than 215,000 tonnes of lychee this year, an increase of 50,000 tonnes year-on-year.

Meanwhile, fruit trees in Son La province also bore good fruit this year with the output of plums and mangoes reaching 68,000 tonnes and 71,000 tonnes respectively, according to Director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Ha Nhu Hue. Although COVID-19 has caused certain difficulties for the consumption and export of the fruits, all of the fruit was sold in the market thanks to the joint effort of the relevant ministries, sectors, local authorities and farmers despite the difficulties caused by the complex development of COVID-19.

Some localities in the northern region are now entering the harvest season of longan. According to Vice Chairman of Son La Provincial People's Committee Nguyen Thanh Cong, in 2021, the area of longan production in Son La province is estimated to be more than 18,800 hectares, with an output of around 100,000 tonnes.

To ensure the consumption of longan amid the current pandemic situation, the provincial authorities have built 600 longan processing facilities, designed to process 50% of the total output. The remaining are to be consumed via supermarket systems, e-commerce platforms, wholesale markets, and for export.

Song Ma district alone is the largest longan granary of the province with this year’s expected output of over 55,800 tonnes. The district’s authorities have advertised the fruit on trading floors to boost its consumption.

In particular, on July 21, the Son La Provincial People's Committee held a ceremony to announce a decision granting certificates of trademark registration for the "Son La longan" and to cut the ribbon to send off a batch of Song Ma-Son La longans to the EU and UK markets for 2021. As of July 21, Son La province has sold 7,900 tonnes of longan, including 64.3 tonnes for export, mainly to China, EU, UK, and the Republic of Korea.

Luong Thi Kiem, head of the Hai Duong Sub-Department of Cultivation and Plant Protection, said that the province is entering the peak harvest season of early-ripening lychee. The province is home to over 2,000 hectares of lychees with an estimated yield of 10,000 tonnes.

The provincial authorities have developed plans for export with the first batch of the fruit scheduled for this July, as well as for selling longan domestically via supermarkets and electronic trading floors.

Farmers in the Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang are expected to harvest nearly 22,000 tonnes of dragon fruit, 16,000 tons of pineapple, 20,000 tons of jackfruit, and more than 5.8 thousand tons of pomelo this year, which might have to be sold at lower prices as compared to the previous year due to COVID-19. The provincial authorities have worked to connect farmers with supermarkets and e-commerce platforms while hosting conferences to boost the consumption of the fruits.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) Tran Thanh Nam said that the ministry has actively coordinated with localities to work out plans to ensure the consumption of their farm produce. At the same time, the ministry has asked plant quarantine agencies to work 24/24 to deal with the requirements of enterprises on exporting agricultural products in order to ensure trade flow and avoid the stagnation of agricultural products amidst the pandemic.

Doan Thi Thanh Mai, deputy head of the National Assembly's Economic Committee, suggested that localities should prioritise the consumption of agricultural products on the domestic market while coordinating with neighboring localities to create favorable conditions for goods consumption and circulation.

She also urged ministries and sectors to support localities in promoting their farm products and connecting farmers with e-commerce platforms while helping them remove difficulties in the export of Vietnamese goods via border gates.