Workers processing cashew for export. The country posted a cashew nut export turnover of $1.14 billion in 2010. —VNA/VNS Photo Dinh Hue
HA NOI — Posting an export turnover of US$1.14 billion in 2010 from shipping 196,000 tonnes of cashew nuts abroad, Viet Nam continues to lead the world's cashew exporters for the fourth consecutive year.
The figures represented year-on-year increases of 10.8 per cent in volume and 13.4 per cent in value, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The year 2010 marks the first year the cashew sector joined the country's group of staples with export revenue reaching over $1 billion.
Nguyen Thai Hoc, chairman of the Viet Nam Cashew Association (Vinacas), said Vietnamese cashew nuts had penetrated 52 countries and territories worldwide. The US, China and the EU still remained the country's largest importers with market share making up 35 per cent, 20 per cent and 25 per cent, respectively.
Viet Nam planned to earn $1.5 billion from cashew exports in 2011, up 32 per cent from last year, Hoc said, noting that this was a "hard task" due to several obstacles from the shortage of materials and labourers to the lack of diverse products and increasing processing costs.
The country has to import about 250,000 tonnes of raw cashews each year. Its total output of about 350,000 tonnes can only meet 60 per cent of processors' demand, he said.
To reach sustainable development, the cashew sector set a target to keep the growing area at 315,000-350,000ha in 2020, focusing on the southeastern region, the Central Highlands and the southern central coastal region.
The sector has also mapped out plans to develop a joint material area of 600,000ha with Cambodia and Laos in 2020, of which Viet Nam will zone off 300,000ha; Cambodia, 250,000ha; and Laos, 50,000ha.
The industry is working to raise cashew productivity to 1.2-1.4 tonnes per ha in 2020 from nearly 1 tonne per ha at present, and increase value by developing high quality production to boost made-in-Viet Nam cashew nuts. — VNS