14:08 | 06/06/2019 Trade
(VEN) - Vietnamese farmers have gained greater returns on investment thanks to higher yields and better post-harvest management facilitated by a New Zealand funded project.
The project and its results were highlighted at the “National Workshop on Successful Development and Commercialisation of Premium Fruit Varieties” held in Ho Chi Minh City on June 5.
The event attracted nearly one hundred participants from relevant government departments, research institutions, farmers’ associations, and agricultural and export companies.
The workshop delivered a key message about the importance of achieving excellence at every step in the value chain for premium fruit. It said this was critical for long term commercial success.
The workshop also shared lessons learnt from the successful “New Premium Fruit Variety Development Project” - a six-year NZD$8.1m (USD $5.6m) dragon fruit project funded by the New Zealand Aid Programme.
The project developed farming methods that doubled per hectare yield and new post-harvest washing and cooling techniques for pack houses, reducing fruit damage and extending shelf life.
The project’s robust and innovative research has reduced the impact of canker disease and resulted in less chemical use, the workshop heard.
It has significantly helped participating dragon fruit farmers build their knowledge and grow their returns on investment.
In addition, the project has developed a number of high potential, new dragon fruit varieties.
The project was implemented by New Zealand Plant and Food Research Ltd in partnership with two Vietnamese research organisations: the Southern Fruit Research Institute and Sub-Institute for Agricultural Engineering and Post-Harvest Technology.
Wendy Matthews, New Zealand Ambassador to Vietnam said, “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”.
At the event, New Zealand businesses shared their experiences on how to fully leverage high value fruit varieties, based on New Zealand’s successful commercialisation, intellectual property protection, and branding models for apples and kiwifruit.
“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”, Wendy Matthews added.
In Vietnam, New Zealand provides support in several areas including: agriculture; knowledge and skills; and disaster risk management. Total investment in 2015 – 2018 was NZD$26.6m.