Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI – Việt Nam expects to achieve US$3 billion as its total export value of vegetables and fruits this year, exceeding the vegetable and fruit industry’s target of $2.4 billion.
“After many years of export value under $1 billion, in recent years, the export value has made a breakthrough, which is why it was able to exceed the target this year, although there were many difficulties,” Huỳnh Quang Đấu, deputy chairman of the Việt Nam Vegetable and Fruit Association, told Việt Nam News.
This year and beyond, the vegetable and fruit industry will face long-term difficulties, including climate change, which would result in a reduction of vegetable and fruit output and quality, and land accumulation for the industry, Đấu said.
Meanwhile, most enterprises of the industry are small- and medium-sized units with less capital, said Đấu, adding that technical barriers in vegetable and fruit importing countries have also increased further.
However, in recent years, Việt Nam’s vegetable and fruits have entered markets with strict ruless, such as the United States, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, as well as Australia, New Zealand and Chile, following 4-5 years of successful negotiation by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. Further, farms and enterprises have produced vegetable and fruit products meeting the quality and food safety standards in those countries, he said.
“That would be the basis for promoting exports this year and beyond,” Đấu said.
Nguyễn Đỗ Anh Tuấn, head of the ministry’s Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development, said this year, enterprises and farmers would pour in investment into fruit, cashew and shrimp because those products have great potential in production and business.
In particular, they would invest in high-technological and clean agriculture to create leading brands for the global market, he said. The enterprises would focus on processing farming, forestry and fishery products to create new value and improve the level of Việt Nam’s products in the international market.
Fruit has great potential as people’s income increases, so does the demand for high-quality fruit, he said.
Last year, the nation’s total export value of vegetables and fruits was $2.4 billion, $200 million higher than the yearly target.
Meanwhile, Mai Văn Trị, director of the Southern Fruit Research Institute (SOFRI), said export value of the vegetable and fruit industry has not met the industry’s potential because there are many kinds of fruits with low prices that do not have high export volume despite the high output.
For instance, Việt Nam mainly exported dried jackfruit or material of fresh jackfruit. Trị said local enterprises could process soft dried jackfruit to reduce the import of this product, Some other kinds of vegetables and fruits such as pomelo and purple sweet potato have output which just meets local demand, but not high enough to export.
Enterprises have not diversified their fruit processing and not seen sustainable development in material region for export processing, he said.
Đinh Cao Khuê, general director of Đồng Giao Export Food Joint Stock Company, said, so far, there are a small number of vegetable and fruit material regions nationwide that meet the demand of the processing industry.
In the north, there are pineapple regions in Đồng Giao, Ninh Bình and Lao Cai provinces, which produce a total of 70,000 tonnes per year, of which 50 per cent is used for local consumption and 50 per cent is for export processing.
Lục Ngạn District in Bắc Giang Province and Thanh Hà District in Hải Dương Province have high longan output, but the period for harvesting and processing this product is just one-and-a-half months. Meanwhile, other special fruit products, including orange in Hà Giang Province, Hàm Yên-Tuyên Quang Province, Cao Phong-Hòa Bình Province and Lục Ngạn-Bắc Giang Province, have output that is enough to meet domestic consumption requirements.
In fact, Việt Nam has many areas that can be used develop material regions of vegetable and fruit for export processing, bringing higher economic efficiency to provinces, Khuê said.
Central highlands provinces such as Đắk Nông and Gia Lai could develop material regions of passion fruit, Japanese sweet potato, sweet corn, spinach and pepper because there is high demand for these products in the global market. Meanwhile, the northern provinces of Lào Cai, Sơn La and Lai Châu are suitable to grow pineapple instead of rubber trees, which have a low level of development in these provinces.
The state needs to plan and develop material regions connecting with the development of processing factories and expanding the regions to neighbouring provinces, Khuê said. Đồng Giao Export Food JSC has enough material of pineapple for export processing because along with material regions in Ninh Bình Province, the company must combine with regions in the neighbouring provinces of Thanh Hóa, Thái Bình, Hải Dương and Bắc Giang, as well as Hà Giang and Tuyên Quang.
Additionally, Khuê said Việt Nam should promote advertising at international fairs for farming products to study and expand export markets, including fairs in Germany, France, Russia and Japan.
Phạm Công Dũng from the Department of Agricultural Forestry and Fishery Processing and Salt Industry said the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has promoted restructuring of agriculture and planned material regions with advantages.
For export activities, the ministry has cooperated with relevant state offices to enhance trade promotion activities for Vietnamese fruit products to increase market share, he said.
Each trade office of Việt Nam in foreign countries would conduct marketing activities for local fruits for the Vietnamese community living abroad and the locals.
The ministry would control further import of fruits through technical barriers under international rules to protect local fruits in a legal manner and stop illegal fruit imports, he said. — VNS