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Savannakhet's watermelons a hit in Vietnam

Savannakhet's watermelons a hit in Vietnam
Vientiane Times, 2 March 2010
Watermelons are one of the top agricultural exports except rice from
Savannakhet province to Vietnam this dry season, according to
provincial authorities.
About 30 tonnes of the fruit were exported from the province last
month, said Deputy Head of the provincial Industry and Commerce
Department's Import and Export Management Section, Mr Khamsa
He said provincial farmers cultivate a wide variety of fruit and
vegetables but watermelon was the first fruit crop to be approved for
export by officials from the section.
Last dry season the province exported 260 tonnes of watermelons to
Other commercial crops, such as sweetcorn and bananas, are also
exported to neighbouring countries but watermelons are the number one
agricultural export, said Mr Khamsa.
Farmers in the province also sell their watermelons to vendors in
Vientiane markets.
This dry season the provincial authorities encouraged farmers to plant
950 hectares of watermelons, but they planted 1,255 hectares,
according to a report from the provincial agriculture section.
Last month prices for watermelons exported to Vietnam ranged from
2,000 kip to 7,000 kip per kg, depending on quality.
Mr Khamsa said as export demand grows so does the number of farmers
cultivating crops for sale to other countries.
He said despite the fact that farmers in the province produce a wide
range of crops, produce such as tomatoes, chillies and eggplants are
still illegally imported from neighbouring countries.
Customs officers are working hard to crack down on illegal imports
from neighbouring countries, especially Thailand, in an effort to help
local farmers earn more and boost their living conditions.

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