By Nyein Nyein
A five-day Myanmar Watermelon and Muskmelon Fair will take place between 29 February and 4 March at the Myaypadetha-
kyun in Yangon, according to the Myanmar Fruit, Flower and Vegetable Producers and Exporters Association (MFVP).
At the fair, various kinds of watermelons and muskmelons will be displayed and sold on special offers. In addition, a delivery service will be offered to big buyers.
The fair is being organized with the support of the Yangon Region government, the Yangon City Development Committee, and the Ministry of Commerce.
Besides watermelons and muskmelons, other fruits will be displayed in about 30 stalls at the fair.
“Currently, watermelon and muskmelon exporters are facing difficulties due to COVID-19 (novel coronavirus). The fair aims to support farmers and traders,” said U Soe Than Min Din, chairman of the MFVP.
“The coronavirus outbreak has led to the suspension of border trade between China and Myanmar. Therefore, traders have turned to the domestic market and the concerned officials have arranged the fair,” he said.
“The fair will serve as a great opportunity to consumers to observe the different kinds of watermelons and muskmelons and the producing areas. It might help sellers link with foreign buyers,” he added.
“Even after the fair, growers and traders will be allowed to continue selling fruits at the site by the Yangon Region government,” said U Naing Win, chair of the Myanmar Watermelon and Muskmelon Producers and Exporters Association (Central).
“The authorities have temporarily designated four warehouses of the Ministry of Commerce in Satsan, Yangon and 1.5 acres of land near the Tamway chicken and duck market as points of sale for watermelons and muskmelons. Additionally, the government is also planning to create more points of sale in Danyingon and other local markets for the fruits,” he said.
“Only a small volume of melons is being traded currently owing to the coronavirus outbreak, causing the price to plunge by half. Losses have mounted to US$55 million within one month (27 January to 26 February),” said U Naing Win.
Watermelons and muskmelons will be harvested across the country, except Kayah and Chin states, until May.
Myanmar exports more than 800,000 tons of watermelons and 150,000 tons of muskmelons every year. At present, only 330,000 tons of watermelons and 40,000 tons of muskmelons have been shipped to external markets. (Translated by Ei Myat Mon)