THE INTRODUCTION OF GAP AND QUALITY SYSTEM FOR PITAYA IN VIETNAM
In Vietnam, at present, the area for dragon fruit (DF-pitaya) is about 45,450 ha with a total production of 587,968 tons and the average DF area per household is 0.5- 1 ha. Unfortunately, producers of DF have seen prices of fruits decline since the product mainly are sold to local consumption or neighboring countries. Recent concern over food safety, returns from pitaya could be significantly improved if small growers and exporters can gain access to new high value markets in Europe and North America. This could be done if Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) programs are in place. The development of safe horticultural models and implementation of GAP (GLOBALGAP, VietGAP) are becoming exaggerated together with its importance in the food supply chain. VietGAP was issued by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) in 2008 and has become a priority and a compulsory regulation in fruits producing and market. T develop GAP, many topics need to be covered: (i) Field farmers’ benchmarking survey; (ii) Selection of a packer/exporter and farmer group for the Pilot; (iii) Development of the pitaya quality manuals for the farmers; (iv) The national personnel capacity building has seen practical GAP proficiency developed; there were three main production areas for pitaya in the Provinces of Binhthuan of about 24,191 ha with 430,120 tons, Tiengiang of 4,052 ha with 75,109 tons and Longan of 5,568 ha with 78,500 tons in 2016. By the year 2017, 10,083.5 ha had been certified for GlobalGAP/VietGAP. Of them, 9,700 ha from Binhthuan, 310 ha from Longan and 73.5 ha in Tiengiang province. In Vietnam, the quality systems for DF are formed from the central to local levels to manage production and distribution. MARD directs and gives policies to support the locals in producing DF under GAP standards, applying IPM on DF production in order to reduce the use of pesticides and inorganic fertilizers, together with the increasing use of organic manure. The crop is affected by a number of pests and diseases with diseases causing the greatest losses both in the field and postharvest. The major field diseases in Vietnam are canker (Neoscytalidium dimidiatum), bacterial soft rot (Erwinia chrysanthemi), anthracnose (Colletotrichum gloeosporioides, C. truncatum). In this paper, more related things have been discussed.