Watermelon, muskmelon growers face huge losses on delayed entry into China

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Myanmar trucks laden with watermelons wait for inspection to enter China. 
photo: Han htay (lashio iprd)

Over 2,000 fruit trucks from Myanmar were finally allowed to pass Wantain Gate into China after being held for 7 hours yesterday as well. With Myanmar fruit trucks having to wait at least two days before being allowed entry into Wantain market, watermelon and muskmelon cultivators are facing huge losses as the delay is affecting the quality of fruits, said U Soe Lwin, the chairman of the Sagaing Region Watermelon and Muskmelon Growers and Exporters Association.
“A Chinese inspection team is checking Myanmar fruit trucks before they enter the Wantain market.
As the team is understaffed, the inspections are getting delayed.
And the Chinese government is not extending their organizational strength. The market gate usually closes at 4:30pm and our fruit trucks end up queuing on the road,” he added.
“Watermelons and muskmelons can only be kept for three or four nights. If the fruits are not fresh, they fetch lower prices.
Although the regional fruit commodities group and the border gate officials tried to find a solution to gain entry at the border gate on 23, 24, and 25 December, their efforts were to no avail,” said U Soe Lwin.
Watermelons and muskmelons are being cultivated in 17 townships of Sagaing Region. Since 2010, the townships have been cultivating only watermelons and muskmelons as their main crops. Fruits from these townships are sent to China’s Wantain and Myanmar’s Muse 105th mile fruit markets.
“With nearly half the farmers in Sagaing Region cultivating watermelons and muskmelons, we have sent a letter to the Sagaing regional government on 27 December, asking it to help find a solution to ensure smooth border sales,” said U Soe Lwin,
The chairman of the fruit depot at Muse Town’s 105th Mile trade zone has also submitted a letter dated 25 December to the Muse 105th Mile trade department to help negotiate with the concerned Chinese authorities.

 

—Myo Min Tun (Monywa)

(Translated by Hay Mar)

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