Search Clean production will help Vietnamese fruit compete with imports
Statistics of the Vietnam Customs show the country imported nearly US$340 million worth of fruit in the first three months of this year, with products of the US, Australia, Thailand and China gradually expanding their share in the domestic market.
Le Minh Hoan, Secretary of the Party Committee of the Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap, said the recent success in fruit export has resulted in the negligence of the domestic market with nearly 100 million people.
He noted that although the local market does not generate revenues in foreign currency, but it is the main base for the fruit cultivation sector to develop in a sustainable way.
A survey of consumers showed when choosing fruit, most people first considered the safety factor, this is where the imports have an advantage over locally grown fruits.
“Domestic consumers will be willing to buy locally grown fruit if growers give them the same respect as for foreign buyers,” Hoan said.
Some fruit growers have begun to notice the call of the market.
Ly Van Son, Deputy Director General of Ecofarm, said shifting to clean production is a must to re-gain consumers’ trust, thus gaining the edge in competing against imported fruits.
According to Son, Ecofarm initially planned to focus on export, but after carefully analyzing the market, the company decided to sell half of its products on the domestic market.
Farmer Tran Thi Ly in Tan Hiep commune, Hon Quang district of Binh Phuoc province, invested VND500 million (US$20,000) in a hi-tech melon farm. Rising demand has encouraged her to open nine more farms now.
The key to sustainable development of the fruit sector is to keep a firm hold of the domestic market while continuing to boost exports.
Vietnam earned US$3.4 billion from exporting fruit and vegetables in 2017. The figure was US$960 million in the first three months of this year.