DAK LAK (VNS)— The Vietnamese coffee industry should boost co-operation between and among producers, processors and traders to strengthen its prestige in the world market, experts say.
Speaking at a conference on coffee industry management organised by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak on Wednesday, they called for the establishment of a coffee council as well as associations for coffee producers' and small-scale coffee traders.
These measures have been successfully applied in other countries and would benefit Viet Nam as well, they said.
They have helped reduce weaknesses in small-scale coffee production, the conference heard.
In addition, the council and association would facilitate the transfer of advanced technology among producers to produce and store high-quality coffee.
Tran Thi Quynh Chi, Director of the Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development (IPSARD) said that it was very necessary and important to set up these associations as they would assist farmers in protecting their rights.
They would also be able to control and manage production activities of coffee co-operatives at lower levels, she said.
Agreeing with Chi, Vu Kim Hanh, chairwoman of the Viet Nam High Quality Goods Production Enterprises'Association stressed that an organisation connecting small coffee traders would assist them in finding new markets.
Moreover, through these organisations, these traders would have opportunities to share experiences and knowledge on legal and financial issues, she said.
Coffee plantations and gardens have transformed the Tay Nguyen (Central Highlands) region in the last few decades, raising the living standards of many households.
This year, the industry targets a record export volume of 1.6 million tonnes.
Although coffee cultivation has high potential, it has not been developed in a proper way, according to conference delegates.
Most of the production in the Central Highlands has been small-scale, with 90 per cent of farms under 2ha and 90 per cent of harvested coffee processed poorly.
Most of the exported coffee from Viet Nam is raw material without trademarks, so the industry is missing out on value-added prices.
In the first half of this year, the country shipped abroad more than 1 million tonnes of coffee worth US$2.2 billion.
Viet Nam is currently the largest coffee exporter in the world. — VNS