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Profits ripe for the picking for nation's fruit farmers

Update: January, 19/2011 - 08:51

Viet Nam Fruit Association vice chairman Huynh Quang Dau told Thoi Bao Kinh Te Viet Nam (Vietnam Economic Times) that fruit farmers could prosper if they paid more attention to market demand.

What was the situation of fruit exports last year?

Viet Nam eyed many export markets last year, but unfavourable weather led to failure of crops and we failed to meet the demand.

However, in general, fruit exports increased by 3 per cent compared to 2009 in both quantity and turnover.

Viet Nam and other WTO countries are committed to reduce tariffs on fruit exports, which has helped Vietnamese enterprises a lot, proven by the reduction of tariffs from 15 to 5 per cent, or even tax exemption on fruit exports.

In this year's policy on the export sector, the association will encourage fruit producers and enterprises to meet the increasing demands of consumers and thus make more profit for exporters.

The association will also enhance co-operation with partner countries in order to export fresh fruit.

The association has proposed the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development guide farmers in how to grow agricultural products without excessive use of chemicals.

Which countries does Viet Nam export fruit to? Which one is the key market?

The European market accounts for 60 per cent of Viet Nam's total exports, mainly canned products.

This year, canned fruit products, especially pineapples and bananas, are being welcomed in East European markets.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade and European trade counsellors have forecast that the export potential of canned products remains high this year. The association is planning to increase the quality of products at reasonable prices.

How do you evaluate our fruit export potential?

World fruit consumption is high, but the methods of growers have resulted in supply and quality that are not up to requirements.

Many people believe that being a grower means being poor, but if farmers produce high-quality fruit, it will sell at higher prices and make more profit.

Our products have yet to meet the market's demands. The production methods need to be improved.

With my 10 years's experience in this field, I think changing grower attitudes is the most important task. To do so, a specific master plan on fruit production is needed, accompanied by the sponsorship of good varieties for farmers. Good varieties means good products. After that, the sector should develop its own good varieties and minimise the need to import them. There are good prospects for the fruit market this year and it's up to us to take advantage of them. — VNS

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