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Australia recognizes litchi irradiation center

Released at: 09:40, 21/06/2016

Australia recognizes litchi irradiation center

Photo: Duc Anh

Recognition to help northern exporters cut costs by more than $700 per tonne.

by Quoc Uy

The Hanoi Irradiation Center has received certification from Australia’s Department of Agriculture and Water Resources and will irradiate Vietnamese litchis exported to the country.

The Plant Protection Department at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) received an official notification from the Australian department on June 20.

The certification was attributed to the close cooperation between the Plant Protection Department, Australian authorities, and the Embassy of Australia in Vietnam, as well as the active engagement of the Hanoi Irradiation Center and businesses.

Litchis from northern Vietnam will go through irradiation treatment in Hanoi rather than having to be shipped down to the south, cutting transport costs and time.

Head of the Plant Protection Department, Mr. Hoang Trung, was quoted as saying that the center will help litchi exporters cut costs by around VND16 million ($720) per tonne.

According to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Vietnam's litchis output is likely to top 200,000 tonnes this year, with 40 percent being exported.

Under Australian regulations, cultivation measures must be applied to eradicate harmful organisms and ensure quality and safety under Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) standards.

Farmers must keep a record of their production processes to prove origin. Fresh litchis must be transported to registered packaging and labeling facilities for further examination by the Plant Protection Department.

The fruit will be treated at the Son Son and An Phu irradiation companies and the Hanoi Irradiation Center. Vietnamese inspection agencies will grant phytosanitary certificates to batches that satisfy requirements.

Irradiation is a safe technology that helps kill bacteria and micro-organisms and keeps fruit fresh for longer periods, even up to a few months.

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