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What measures for sustainable development of pepper industry?

Pepper corn production and export of Vietnam have been witnessing strong development for recent years. At the moment, Vietnam is the world leading country in terms of pepper corn export volume and turnover.

In 1996, there country had 7,600 ha of pepper.

Now the area has increased to 50,000ha. In 2004, Vietnam exported 100,000 tons, as many as 50% of the world pepper corn export volume and Vietnam’s pepper could be found in 70 countries and territories throughout the world. Such large volume brought about an export turnover of US$149 million.

The number of pepper corn processors and exporters also increased from 60 in year 2002 to 92 last year.

However, analysts said pepper corn prices in the world market might reduce this year as supply is exceeding demand.

Meanwhile, 95% of Vietnam’s pepper corn output is for export. Thus, it is a matter that how to achieve sustainable development for the pepper industry of Vietnam.

Chairman Do Ha Nam of the Vietnam Pepper Association said the body now recommends farmers not to expand area of pepper and to attach importance to improvement of productivity and quality.

Enterprises under the Association should put focus on building brands and improving quality so as to enhance added value. Modern technologies and technical solutions should be applied properly during growing, cropping, processing, transporting and consuming.

The industry also have plan to rise the rate of high quality products, producing white pepper corn. In 2004, about 9,000 tons of white pepper were exported, up by 19 times in compared with that in 2002. As projected, 10,000 tons of white pepper will be exported this year. Prices of white pepper corn are around US$2,000 per ton, doubling those of black one.

Together with improving quality and diversifying products, the industry plans to building up and promoting brands. Establishment of the two brands namely Phu Quoc pepper corn and Chu Se pepper corn will be completed in the second quarter this year.

In Chu Se, there are about 3,000 ha of pepper with annual output of 12,000 tons per year on the average. Thank to good quality, pepper corn produced in this zone is beloved.

The industry is also trying to apply international standards to production and processing of pepper so as to narrow the gap between pepper corn prices of Vietnam and those of other countries.

Additionally, experts proposed to sell products in suitable time so as to regulate supply and demand, stabilizing prices. Market information should be updates more regularly.

In short, to maintain the first place of a pepper corn exporting country and create sustainable development for the industry, the above comprehensive measures should be taken and there needs to be cooperation between relevant sides as well.

Vietnam Economic Review - (25/03/2005)

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