Melon Exporters Plan to Set Standard Prices

Melon exporters are planning to introduce standardized pricing to smooth out seesawing pricesfor the sake of market stability, a trade association has said.

The Myanmar Melon Cultivator, Producer and Exporter Group agreed at a recent meeting to fix the prices of watermelons and honeydew melons at the 105 mile border trade zone near Muse in Shan state.

U Naing Win, the group’s chairperson, said they would aim to finish the standardization process at the start of 2017. The group will cooperate with the Myanmar Fruit, Flower, and Vegetable Producer and Exporter Association and agricultural experts.

Melon farmers have been working to meet booming demand from China, India and elsewhere in Asia. But productivity and quality has failed to keep up because of a lack of access to agricultural technology and irregular harvest times.

“Local cultivators use traditional practices, it’s what they know,” said U Aung Aung, the Secretary of the Myanmar Melon Cultivator, Producer and Exporter Group. “Foreign countries are very careful on fruit quality and standards for export. Raising the number of growers will spoil the fruit market. So quality and price standardization is necessary,” he added.

Most of Myanmar’s watermelon is exported to China while honeydew goes mostly to the Singapore and Malaysia markets.

Apart from Kayah and Chin states, watermelon and honeydew are widely cultivated across the country and the harvest season covers the whole year.