(HBO) – Meeting strict requirements on farming techniques and food safety, one tonne of longan of the Son Thuy plantation in Xuan Thuy commune, Kim Boi district, was successfully exported to the EU for the first time in early August.

Members of Son Thuy agricultural service cooperative in Xuan Thuy conduct post-harvest selection and classification of longan. 

Longan, planted in Son Thuy, now Xuan Thuy, since 1989, has become the main crop and livelihood of locals. Bui Van Luc is the first to cultivate the tree in the commune on 1.2ha of his family’s garden. Favourable soil and weather conditions had spurred the growth and production of the sweet fruit. 

Recalling his first day of planting the trees, Luc, director of the Son Thuy agricultural service cooperative, said it was very difficult to find markets then, as the fruit was unpopular without a trademark. 

"I rented a truck to carry my longan to the Long Bien wholesale fruit market in Hanoi. Fortunately, after only two market sessions, Hanoi traders found that Son Thuy longan was as delicious as those from Hung Yen, but had a lower price tag. Therefore, they followed me to the family's garden to buy the fruit,” he said. 

With 2.5 hectares of longan grown under the VietGAP standards, this year the cooperative's output is estimated at 20 tonnes per ha. 

The entire commune now houses close to 200ha of longan, including 34ha cultivated by the Son Thuy cooperative. 

In 2016, the Son Thuy longan was granted a certificate of collective trademark protection by the National Office of Intellectual Property. It was followed by a series of certificates on food safety, VietGAP, and OCOP standards. Son Thuy longan is also the first product of the province to obtain a planting area code in 2019, enabling it to be exported to international markets. 

Nguyen Hong Yen, Director of the Provincial Sub-Department of Cultivation and Plant Protection, said at the beginning of August, three days before the delivery to the EU, all the three samples of Son Thuy longan passed the bloc’s technical requirements of 821 food safety inspection criteria. 

The provincial agricultural sector has set a target of exporting 50 tonnes of Son Thuy longan to the EU market this year.

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