Ensuring a proper production value chain for local premium fruits is said to be critical to their long-term commercial success, with opportunities to export to tough markets like the US, EU, Australia, New Zealand and others.
Vietnam’s high-value dragon fruit, in this case, has undergone a sustainable production programme backed by the six-year $5.6 million dragon fruit project funded by the New Zealand Aid Programme for the 2013-2021 period, to help enhance its value and production.
Seeking to achieve a sustainable development and commercialisation for the fruit, the project has taken the initiative to improve the production approaches, disease control methods, efficient post-harvest systems and effective new varieties.
The project has been implemented by New Zealand Plant and Food Research Ltd in partnership with two Vietnamese research organisations, namely the Southern Fruit Research Institute and Sub-Institute for Agricultural Engineering and Post-Harvest Technology.
So far, it has significantly helped participating dragon fruit farmers build their knowledge and grow their returns on investment.
In addition, a comprehensive dragon fruit breeding programme has been established to give birth to new varieties with novel colours, flavours and resistance to diseases along with high yield and improved storage life. The high quality novel varieties selected for commercialisation will be protected using Plant Variety Rights and commercialised both in Vietnam and internationally following a Controlled Production Commerialisation Model.
“This project is one of New Zealand’s signature projects in Vietnam because it successfully brings together New Zealand’s agricultural expertise with one of Vietnam’s most iconic products – the dragon fruit. We are pleased that this project has delivered tangible benefits to Vietnamese farmers and their families,” New Zealand Ambassador to Vietnam, Wendy Matthews said at the national workshop on Successful Development and Commercialisation of Premium Fruit Varieties held in Ho Chi Minh City on Wednesday.
According to the ambassador, New Zealand’s fruit industry has invested both in robust systems across the value chain and in research to develop the best possible varieties. “By sharing New Zealand’s successful models, we hope to assist Vietnam’s fast-growing premium fruit industry.”