Fruit and vegetable exports are expected to fetch US$ 600 million this year, easily surpassing the target of $ 470 million, according to the industry business grouping.
Speaking at an international conference titled “Viet Nam Tropical Fruit and Vegetables” in HCM City yesterday, Viet Nam Fruit and Vegetables Association (Vinafruit) deputy chairman Huynh Quang Dau said exports had been worth $ 515 million in the first 10 months, a 40.6 per cent increase.
Dau, who is also general director of the An Giang Fruit-Vegetables and Foodstuff JSC, said exporters had begun to use advanced preservation methods like irradiation to find acceptance in choosy markets like Japan and the US.
Most are aware of the importance of quality control and food safety, he said, adding that many of the big ones had obtained HACCP, ISO, Kosher, and Halal certificates.
The country sells fruits and vegetables to more than 50 nations and territories, with China, Japan, Indonesia, the Netherlands, and Russia being the largest importers.
The main items are fresh fruit like dragon fruit, watermelon, litchi, longan, and mango, vegetables like cabbage and cauliflowe, processed fruit and vegetables like canned vegetables, dried fruit, juice concentrates, and frozen products.
Doan Xuan Hoa, deputy general director of the Department of Processing and Trade for Agro-Forestry Fisheries Products and Salt Production, said Viet Nam’s advantage of varied geographic and climatic conditions allowed it to diversify its fruit and vegetable production, giving the sector great potential.
But development remained stunted due to small production scales and outdated technologies in planting, harvesting, processing, and preservation, leading to high costs and low quality and yield, he said.
Though the sector had seen steady export growth in the last 10 years, revenues were modest compared to that from other farm produces, he said.