Updated  
October, 09 2013 08:59:00

Tea industry needs to plan for the future

Viet Nam now exports tea to 61 countries and territories, down from 77. Not a single European nation is in the top 10 markets, with Taiwan, Pakistan and China holding the first three positions.—File Photo

HA NOI (VNS)— The tea industry must become more sustainable through building concentrated tea areas and improving productivity, quality and safety, experts said at the fifth Viet Nam Tea Outlook 2013 held yesterday in Ha Noi.

Nguyen Thi Anh Hong, general secretary of the Viet Nam Tea Association, noted that the country had exported 86,000 tonnes of tea this year, representing a 15 per cent decrease compared with the same period last year.

The supply of raw materials decreased about 20 per cent in 2013 due to unfavorable weather conditions, she said.

Additionally, fewer farmers were investing their profits back into growing tea and some grew small-scale plantations without proper planning.

"The overuse of plant protection chemicals, lack of attention to ensuring quality and safety and weak linkage with farmers are also affecting the industry," Hong said.

Nguyen Xuan Hong, head of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD)'s Plant Protection Department, agreed that tea farmers were overusing plant protection chemicals but hoped that the Law on Plant Protection and Quarantine expected to be approved later this year would boost inspections of the pesticide supply and usage system.

According to the association, Viet Nam now exports tea to 61 countries and territories, down from 77. Not a single European nation is in the top 10 markets, with Taiwan, Pakistan and China holding the first three positions.

According to experts, Vietnamese tea exporters found the EU countries harder to penetrate due to risks of pesticide residue and consequently focused on easier markets such as Pakistan, Afghanistan, Indonesia and China.

The association called for a central government agency to coordinate government policies for the industry and develop concentrated tea areas to improve the safety and quality of tea leaves.

Hong also stressed the need to reduce low-scale processing factories and link the processing factories with raw material areas.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) plans for the country's tea growing area to reach 150,000 hectares in 2020, from about 124,000 hectares in 2012.

Nguyen Quoc Vong, an expert on quality and safety enhancement of agricultural products from MARD, said that even though Viet Nam was among the top five tea exporters in the world, Vietnamese tea still lacked branding and consumers perceived it as low value.

The average export value per hectare for Vietnamese tea is about $1,200, in comparison with $5,700 for Sri Lanka and over $6,000 for Kenya, Vong said, yet tea farmers lack the motivation to improve the quality of raw materials.

Doan Xuan Hoa, deputy head of MARD's Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Processing Department, said long-term planning must tackle the challenge of supplying land for large-scale plantations, monitoring quality throughout the supply chain and restructuring the production of tea products according to changing market demand. — VNS

Send Us Your Comments:
Name:
Your E-mail address:
Title:
 

VietNamNews may edit your comments and not all emails will be published.

Highlight

HCM City struggles to control influx of substandard produce 1    HCM City struggles to control influx of substandard produce

High demand for farm produce and the sheer variety of ways in which it is brought into HCM City from other localities makes quality control a very difficult task, officials say.

Hoi An hosts silken rendezvous Hoi An hosts silken rendezvous

Top craftsmen and women from seven silk villages in Viet Nam will participate in the Viet Nam Silk Culture Day at Hoi An city's Silk Village centre on December 28.

Local art smashes auction record Local art smashes auction record

Days after noted Vietnamese artist Le Pho's View from the Hilltop set a new auction record, art collector Nguyen Minh still has a lingering feeling of regret.

Long Bien Bridge preservation divides planners 2    Long Bien Bridge preservation divides planners

Architecture and cultural managers discussed Long Bien Bridge's future at a seminar held on Wednesday in Ha Noi.

Malaysia crush VN in AFF semis Malaysia crush VN in AFF semis

Viet Nam suffered a nightmare yesterday at My Dinh Stadium in Ha Noi as they were knocked out of the ASEAN Football Federation-Suzuki Cup.