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Fruit festival a sweet success

2010-04-22 (GMT + 7)

The first Vietnam fruit festival opened yesterday in the Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang, one of the largest fruit-producing areas in the country. The six-day event is being held to promote the country's fruit products, tourism, introduce the industry's potential, and honour farmers, scientists and businesspeople who have contributed to the promotion of Vietnamese fruit.

Addressing the opening in My Tho City, President Nguyen Minh Triet said the festival was an opportunity to boost Vietnamese fruit exports by introducing their image, potential and capacity to the world market.
The event would also be a chance to help scientists, businesses and local authorities co-operate to seek export markets and increase the international status of Vietnamese fruits, he said.
It includes a food event, a singing festival featuring Vietnam's traditional arts, a photo exhibition, a fashion festival, a music programme and a fruit farmer contest.
A fruit expo with more than 700 booths will showcase as much as 2,000 tonnes of fruit typical of the Delta and specialties from 20 provinces.
A series of workshops on Vietnamese fruit business opportunities and challenges of international economic integration will be held.
Workshops on orchards and garden ecotourism and connecting farmers and scientists will also take place.
At the event, 40 painters from Ho Chi Minh  city(HCMC) City and Hue City completed a graffiti project featuring a huge dragon. The work, which is 400x5m, has been recognised as the longest dragon graffiti artwork made in Vietnam.
Other special artworks include a dragon gate measuring 28x7m, a 6x4m map made of fruit, and a set of fruit paintings of four supernatural creatures (dragon, tortoise, phoenix and unicorn) that stands 4m by 10m.
Triet said Viet Nam's tropical climate was convenient for developing high quality fruit trees of different types that would support farmer households and earn money for businesses.
"Vietnamese fruit is really our pride and joy to taste," Triet said.
Vietnam had achieved many successes in fruit production and trading thanks to the diligence of farmers and management efforts of local authorities, he said.
However, there were still challenges, including fruit with low competitive capacity and limitations in technology and science application, leading to low fruit output and quality.
Triet said these problems needed to be overcome to develop Vietnamese fruit production.
Accordingly, authorities needed to concentrate on developing specialised areas for fruit trees to boost quality and quantity.
He said the Government would create policies more favourable to making fruit more competitive on the domestic and world markets.
This year, the country's total fruit area is expected to reach about 910,000ha, with an output of 10 million tonnes, of which 430,000 tonnes will be exported. Total export turnover is projected at US$295 million.
By 2020, the fruit area is expected to increase to 1.1 million ha and total export turnover to $1.2 billion.
Last year, Tien Giang cultivated fruit trees on 670,000ha, with an annual average yield of about 1 million tonne of fruits, Tran The Ngoc, chairman of the provincial People's Committee, said.
The province has more than 20 kinds of fruit, of which seven are very competitive, including the Hoa Loc sweet mango, Co Co pomelo, Ngu Hiep durian, Lo Ren Vinh Kim star apple, Tan Lap pineapple, Cho Gao dragon fruit, and Go Cong babados cherry.


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