The Myanmar Fruit, Flower, and Vegetable Producers and Exporters Association (MFVP) suggested three measures to expand the watermelon market and control market prices at the 22nd regular meeting of Vice President 1 and entrepreneurs.
The suggestions were put forward by MFVP vice president U Myint Sein at the meeting held recently at the UMFCCI office.
“Watermelon and muskmelons are currently exported to Yunnan province only through the Shweli (Ruili) gate. As a result, there is a current mismatch between supply and demand. At times, excessive supply during harvest brings down prices. The Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) market survey has pointed out that the difference between profit and loss can be 39 per cent within a week,” said U Myint Sein.
“It will be better if fruits such as watermelons, muskmelons, mangoes, and pomelo are allowed to be exported through other Sino-Myanmar gates, rather than just Shweli,” he said.
He called for opening up more export channels through ships, flights, and cross-border gates. He also requested that a warehouse be set up to store fruits to increase their shelf life as that might help regulate prices.
Myanmar exports agro products and a number of fruits to China. China’s food safety inspection mechanism, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection, and Quarantine (AQSIQ), has allowed imports of Myanmar’s mangosteen, rambutan, lychee, watermelon, and muskmelon. China allows imports of watermelons, muskmelons, and mangoes through the Shweli gate.
China accounts for 95 per cent of Myanmar’s fruit exports. Watermelon tops the list of fruits exported to China, followed by mango and muskmelon.
This year, the melon season started with good prices. The monsoon harvest of melons is usually lower compared with winter. A watermelon and muskmelon farm owner, who grows about 100 acres in winter, works fewer farmlands in the monsoon season, just enough to sustain the livelihood of workers. The winter season begins in late October.
—Htet Myat (Translated by Ei Myat Mon)