|Coconut exports are expected to top US$1 billion this year. — VNS Photo|
HCM CITY — Exports of coconut products were worth US$900 million last year and are expected to top $1 billion this year, according to the Việt Nam Coconut Association.
Cao Bá Đăng Khoa, the association’s acting general secretary, said the country has risen to fourth place in Asia in terms of coconut exports.
Every part of the coconut tree - fruits, wood, leaves - has a use, he said.
The processing industry has developed some 200 products like candy, fibre, shell charcoal, oil, coconut milk, and carpet , besides fresh coconut.
It has invested in production technologies to make products of international quality and export to many markets including demanding ones, he said.
Firms exported coconut wood last year, and many businesses now report large export orders for it and coconut shell for making handicrafts, he said.
The association is co-ordinating with several industries and localities to organise activities to expand production capacity and build brands for coconut products, he said.
With proper marketing, coconut products would gain traction in international markets, he said.
The association plans to set up offices in several provinces and cities, he said.
The industry faces challenges, including the lack of a standalone set of standards and rules for coconut varieties and wood origin traceability, he said.
Việt Nam has 175,000 hectares under coconut, mainly in the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta and the central coast, with the former accounting for nearly 80 per cent. — VNS