Farmers and producers in the Mekong Delta say they have a number of specialities that can be exported, but authorities have not paid enough attention to them.– Photo daibieunhandan.vn
HCM City – Farmers and producers in the Mekong Delta say they have a number of specialities that can be exported, but authorities have not paid enough attention to them.
Salted duck’s egg, a unique nutritious Vietnamese product, is an example. “[It] has potential for export, especially if the ducks are bred in fields, but the market hasn’t been exploited yet,” chairman of the Việt Nam Poultry Breeding Association, Nguyễn Thanh Sơn, was quoted as saying by Đầu Tư (Việt Nam Investment Review) newspaper.
Only one company in Vĩnh Long Province and two in Cần Thơ City export these eggs and only to three traditional markets: Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore.
Their exports fluctuate depending on the severity of bird flu outbreaks: 20 million in 2014, 10.2 million in 2015, and 20 million in 2016.
Singapore, which buys up 90 per cent of Vietnamese exports, also imports from Thailand and Taiwan, but their quality does not match Việt Nam’s.
The Vietnamese exporters have successfully developed processing technologies that meet international food safety standards.
“International demand for salted duck eggs is huge, especially from China and other Asian nations, and Việt Nam should dominate the market,” Sơn added.
But the country’s weakness is that the companies have not set up a closed value chain, from breeding ducks to bringing standard products to international customers.
“Vietnamese enterprises are based on a household model, don’t invest in marketing or expanding their markets, and have not received any attention from relevant authorities,” Sơn added.
Quail products are in a similar situation.
“There are no official figures on quail because they are not considered part of poultry,” Assoc Prof and Dr Lã Văn Kính, director of the Southern Livestock sub-Institute, said.
“There might be around 20 million individuals and Đồng Nai Province has the largest number, estimated at around 8.5 million.”
Quail grow rapidly, maturing in five to six weeks with 85 – 90 per cent of females then laying eggs themselves. Many households breed quail since it requires little capital.
Quail eggs and meat are popular in the local market and neighbouring nation of Cambodia, but exports are illegal now because exporters need to dress fowl while Cambodians prefer them with their organs.
A lot of quail are smuggled out but authorities often seize and destroy consignments.
“There is no authority to consider the requirement of export markets and amend export regulations,” Sơn said.
There is demand in Japan for canned quail eggs, but there is only one company exporting them, the Nguyễn Hồ Quail Farm in the Mekong Delta province of Tiền Giang, which has been shipping them to that country since 2013.
To be able to export, a farm must breed quail to strict international standards and tie up for processing and canning the eggs with the Tiền Giang Fruit and Vegetable Company, the only one in the country with the capability. -- VNS