Pineapple growers call for legitimate export channel to China

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About 55% of pineapple fields in Myanmar can be found in Hsipaw Township. Photo : Nyein Nyein

By Nyein Nyein

Myanmar pineapple growers are expecting official export channel to China, according to Myanmar Pineapple Producers and Exporters Association.
China is the main buyer of Myanmar’s pineapples and it has banned importation since 16 June 2019. The Phytosanitary Certificate (PC) issued by Myanmar’s Agriculture Department is required for export to China. This being so, the association asked the Agriculture Department to issue the PC at the soonest. Earlier, 50 per cent of pineapple production is consumed locally, and the remaining goes to China. Therefore, Myanmar growers want legitimate trade channel to Yunnan Province, said association secretary Sai Kyaw Nyunt. “We demand border trade with China as some Chinese brokers buy about 20 trucks of pineapples per day. If we can resume border trade with China, it is better than exporting to other countries,” he added. At present, the Ministry of Commerce has received samples of Myanmar’s pineapples to penetrate other foreign markets through Singapore, in cooperation with Myanmar Fruits, Flowers and Vegetables Producers and Exporters Association.
Myanmar yearly exports nearly 40,000 tonnes of pineapples to China. Last year, pineapple grower groups from northern Shan State lost over K700 million worth 25,000 tonnes. This year, there are about 35,000 acres of pineapples across the country; with 55 per cent in Hsipaw Township, 17 in Lashio, nine in Tangyan, six in Hsihseng, and 13 in Namsang and other townships. The pineapples will be abundant during its harvest season (July and August). If the trade channel is still suspended this year, growers will suffer more losses, Sai Kyaw Nyunt added. An acre can grow around 6,000-10,000 pineapple plants and up to 15,000 plants if the advanced growing technique is used.
An acre costs approximately K1 million. Previously, an acre can earn about K2.5 million, with the price ranging K350 to 750 per pineapple. Therefore, it is a lucrative fruit for the growers. Myanmar earlier shipped about 300-500 tonnes of pineapple per day. Although pineapple is not listed on the green channel list of General Administration of Customs China, the association requests the government to negotiate with Yunnan provincial government for official trade. Furthermore, pineapple growers want this sector to be listed on the priority sector of the Coronavirus Fund. The value-adding market is not uncertain for now, yet the government’s long-term loan for pineapple paste, juice and vinegar businesses are required. Additionally, the association stated that the traders need to link with exporters to send the pineapples to Singapore and other external markets in July and August. (Translated by Ei Myat Mon)

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