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  Poverty Alleviation

Farm produce seeks to further penetrate world market

Caring tea saplings in Yen Bai province

In recent years Vietnam has emerged as one of the world’s leading exporters of some farm products, including rice, coffee, cashew nuts and pepper, with total export value increasing from US$2.8 billion in 2000 to US$3.25 billion in 2003. However, its competitive capacity remains low compared to other countries in the region and the world.

Bach Quoc Khang, head of the Agro-Forestry Product and Salt Processing Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) said food hygiene is considered a top priority in global trade while quality is the decisive factor for any farm produce that wants to penetrate foreign markets. In fact, the quality of Vietnamese farm produce for export is not high due to improper allocations of land for large-scale production, bad quality of strain varieties and poor preservation.

To better meet the requirements of local and foreign consumers, localities and production establishments have invested in building farm produce processing lines using modern European technology. Thousands of private businesses and households upgraded processing technologies to export fruit and vegetables to high demand markets such as the European Union and Japan. The Mekong River Delta established large-scale growing zones for fruits of high potential for export such as Hoa Loc mangoes, Nam Roi grapefruit, Vinh Kim milk fruit and Chin Hoa durian. The model has been replicated in other parts of the country.

To increase the competitiveness and value of Vietnamese fruit and vegetables in high demand markets, MARD has identified 11 groups of key fruits and developed fruit and vegetable growing zones to meet the requirements of industrial processing. MARD asked businesses to seek to raise the quality, reduce the production costs and diversify services to further penetrate foreign markets. Businesses were encouraged to apply advanced technology in product preservation and processing alongside trademark promotion and product marketing.

Vietnam aims to earn US$6-7 billion from the export of agro-forestry products by 2010 and develop its farm produce processing technology on par with that in the region and the world.

VOV - (22/10/2004)

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