Deep processing enhance VN’s agricultural export value

Experts have advocated for deep processing to enhance competitiveness and create higher-value products.

As Vietnam seeks to boost export values and set new records in 2024 for key agricultural products, experts have advocated for deep processing to enhance competitiveness and create higher-value products.

The pepper industry is a typical example.

The Vietnam Pepper and Spice Association (VPSA) has predicted Việt Nam’s pepper exports will be promising in 2024, with prices anticipated to increase as a result of decreased production worldwide.

VPSA estimated a 10.5 per cent year-on-year decrease in Việt Nam’s pepper production to 160,000-165,000 tonnes in 2024 while the reduction rate in India is estimated at 20 per cent, Indonesia 20 – 30 per cent and Brazil 15 per cent.

According to VPSA, the sector must attach importance to deep processing to increase export value. The current proportion of processed pepper products for export stands at a mere 30 per cent, indicating the need for a significant improvement.

Despite the projected increase in pepper prices, pepper in the Central Highlands and Southeast regions has faced stiff competition from other crops, notably durian. This highlights the urgency for the industry to prioritise deep processing, not only to increase export value but also to provide farmers with peace in their mind amid fluctuating prices and market challenges, VPSA President Hoàng Thị Liên said.

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A representative of the Vietnam Coffee Cocoa Association (VICOFA) said that Vietnamese coffee is a sought-after product by importers. In June last year, for the first time in history, farmers had no coffee to sell. Currently, the inventory of this item has also decreased sharply, thus, the coffee prices are expected to reach new peaks in 2024.

Phan Minh Thông, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Phúc Sinh Corporation, a big Vietnamese pepper and coffee exporter in HCM City, highlighted the indispensable role of continued investment in deep processing for the sustainable development of Việt Nam’s coffee and black pepper sectors.

Industry insiders in the seafood sector also emphasized the significance of deep processing in the seafood sector to boost competitiveness.

Kim Thu, a shrimp market expert at the Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP), underlined the need for the Vietnamese shrimp industry to improve its competitive capacity by promoting processing to increase product value. Currently, value-added processed shrimp products contribute 40-45 per cent to the total shrimp export value annually, she noted.

Đặng Phúc Nguyên, General Secretary of the Vietnam Fruit and Vegetable Association (Vinafruit), said that to become a fruit and vegetable export powerhouse in Southeast Asia and the world, it is essential for Việt Nam to improve several issues, including deep processing.

Only 25 per cent of exported fruits and vegetables have been processed whereas it is up to 50 per cent in countries with strong export potential in this regard.

According to Nguyên, thousands of businesses engage in processing in Việt Nam but they operate on a small scale. Therefore, it is a must to prioritise investment in and have special mechanisms to encourage deep processing. — VNS


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