Watermelon, muskmelon exports rising year on year: Myanmar Trade Promotion Dept director

IMG 5795 72Watermelon and muskmelon have topped the list of fruits exported to China and the export volume has been increasing significantly year on year, said U Myo Thu, the director of the Myanmar Trade Promotion Department of the Ministry of Commerce.
He made the remarks at a workshop on promoting exports of watermelon and muskmelon, which was held at the fruit depot meeting hall in the Muse trade zone on 15 December.
“Suppliers have now formed the Myanmar Watermelon and Muskmelon Exporters and Producers Association, which is not just a trade group. We will try to bring about an equilibrium between production and market demand and hope to triple the export volume,” said U Myo Thu.
The volume of watermelon exports was estimated at 500,000 tons in the 2014-2015 Financial Year, over 560,000 in the 2015-2016 FY, and over 170,000 tons in the mini-budget period from April to September. The volume of muskmelon exports stood at over 110,000 tons in the 2014-2015 FY, over 100,000 tons in the 2015-2016 FY, and over 40,000 tons in the mini-budget period.
“It is necessary to explore new markets and maintain market share. Growers and merchants can reap more benefits if they come together and work in groups. The relevant department is providing technical assistance and supplying seeds to boost production, reduce input costs, and produce high quality fruits,” said Daw Tin Soe Soe Hlaing, the assistant director of the Trade Department of the Ministry of Commerce.
During the workshop, participants discussed matters related to taxation, pest control, export licence, and market needs and prospects.
“I am glad that the authorities plan to help us develop our business. If our products are of low quality, we cannot place them in the export market. Fertilizers and pesticides are important farming inputs. Importation of pesticides involves several stages and often takes months, which hinders cultivation. Some farmers have been forced to buy pesticides from the black market, which is expensive. The authorities have also been confiscating pesticides purchased illegally,” said an exporter.
Watermelons and muskmelons are primarily grown in the Mandalay and Sagaing regions and Shan State. Myanmar’s watermelons and muskmelons have grabbed a large market share in China.—Khaing Set Wai (Translated by Ei Myat Mon)

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