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Fruit, vegetable exports jump 31%

Update: December, 31/2005 - 00:00

Fruit, vegetable exports jump 31%


A farmer harvests Cayen pineapples at the HCM City’s Seedlings Company.—VNA/VNS Photo Pham Do

HA NOI — Viet Nam earned almost US$235 million from fruit and vegetable exports this year, up 31.3 per cent against 2004, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development figures show.

The country’s fruit and vegetables are now available in 50 countries and regions.

Mainland China, with 42 per cent of the total revenue, was the major customer followed by Singapore and Taiwan.

Exports to France, the Republic of Korea, Russia, Japan and the Netherlands posted increases of between 40-57 per cent.

Viet Nam has about 755,000ha of orchards that produce an estimated 6.5 million tonnes of fruit each year, including 1.4 million tonnes of bananas, 800,000 tonnes of citrus and 590,000 tonnes of longan.
The Cuu Long (Mekong) River Delta has the most orchards – 231,000ha.

The southern delta is expected to increase its orchards to 300,000ha next year and 420,000ha by 2010.

Next year’s harvest is forecast to total 3.3 million tonnes and 4.6 million tonnes in 2010.

The ministry says the growing of vegetables, fruit trees, cut flowers and ornamental plants will be a major development in Viet Nam’s agriculture between now and 2010.

Orchard planting is expected to then total 1.3 million ha and yield 20 million tonnes of fruits with gross export revenue of $1 billion.

In 2006, orchards will be expanded to 760,000ha, 5,000 ha higher than this year with export earnings of $330 million.

The ministry has encouraged the growing of such popular fruit as citrus, pineapple, mango, longan, litchi, durian, mangosteen and star apple so as to meet the target.

It will also:

Help develop trademarks, expand markets and boost vegetable-fruit processing;

Develop nurseries to ensure a sufficient supply of fruit saplings for farmers; and Promote the application of advanced technology for processing and preserving of fruit.

The year ahead

Total export revenue from agriculture is expected to total $5.8 billion for this year, 29 per cent higher than 2004, reports the Agriculture and Rural Development Ministry.

Main export earners were rice, $1.4 billion, timber products, $1.5 billion, rubber, $772 million, and coffee $718 million.

Simultaneously, Viet Nam opened its markets in accordance with ASEAN’s Free Trade Area (AFTA) Common Effective Preferential Tariffs scheme that reduces tariffs for imported agro-forestry produce by 91 per cent, said the ministry’s planning department deputy director Pham Thi Tuoc.

Nevertheless, agro-forestry products were able to secure a firm foothold in competitive markets like the European Union, the US and Japan, she said.

The signing of contracts between enterprises and farmers had enabled a flow of agro-forestry produce to the domestic market and secured supplies for exports.

Farmers and enterprises, with support from relevant government agencies, had given the building of trademarks special attention.

Examples were durian from the Cuu Long (Mekong) province of Ben Tre that carried the trade mark R1-6, or Chin Hoa, or Hoa Loc mango from Tien Giang or Thanh Ha litchi, from northern Hai Duong Province.

Trade promotion, including trade mark development, market surveys, opening representative offices and posting web sites cost about VND269 billion ($16.8 million) in 2005.

Of this VND169 billion was from the State budget.

Deputy Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Diep Kinh Tan said that most of the trade promotion had focused only on exports although the domestic market consumed up to 70 per cent of the produce.

"In the context of international integration and trade liberalisation, Viet Nam’s agro-forestry products have to compete in both the domestic and foreign markets," he said. — VNS

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