Fruit exports increase 9% per year

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VietStock FI English - 45 month(s) ago 2 readings

Domestic fruit exports have achieved an average growth rate of around 9 per cent in recent years, according to a report by the Viet Nam Fruit and Vegetables Association.

"In 2010, the country's fruit export turnover reached US$471 million, a year-on-year increase of $33 million, taking the country's fruit trade surplus to $150 million for the second consecutive year," the association reported.

The association said along with the increasing value, Vietnamese fruit had established a foothold in a number of large markets including the EU and the USA.

"In recent years, Vietnamese fruit has mostly been exported to the EU, the USA and mainland China," said the association chairman Dinh Van Huong.

Huong said Viet Nam's biggest advantage was its climate, that allowed high-quality tropical fruit that cannot be cultivated in many other countries to thrive.

"Cheaper cost is also another advantage," Huong said.

"Vietnamese dragon fruit and pineapples have become favourite fruit among consumers across the world. The quality is even better than in many other fruit producing nations such as Thailand," Huong added.

It was not very difficult to push the export value up. Viet Nam just needed to ensure the quality and quantity of dragon fruit, said a fruit exporter.

Vietnamese dragon fruit has also become popular in South Korea. With this potential, experts believed that fruit would break into many other markets this year.

"With the current growth rate, Viet Nam's fruit exports will reach the target of $1 billion in 2015," Huong said.

However, the fruit industry must overcome several challenges to hit that figure.

The biggest challenge was ensuring quantity and food safety, experts said.

Post-harvest processing in Viet Nam was not as good as in other countries, said Tran Thi Thanh Hien, an expert from the HCM City University of Natural Sciences.

Foreign fruit imported into Viet Nam stayed fresh for several months, she added.

Hien also said to achieve a higher export turnover, Vietnamese farmers needed to increase food safety. Meanwhile, the association believed that fruit could bring more cash into the country if there was a clear development plan.

There are 780,000ha of fruit plantations in Viet Nam, 270,000ha of which are in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta, supplying 7 million tonnes of fruit to the market every year.

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