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Deep processing increases agricultural product export value: experts

Updated: 16:25, 03/03/2024
As Vietnam aims for higher export value and new records in export turnover of key agricultural products in 2024, experts have called for greater commitment to deep processing, saying that this approach will not only boost product competitiveness but also create a professional industry chain and exceptional products that bring in higher value.

The pepper industry is a typical example. The Vietnam Pepper and Spice Association (VPSA) estimated a 10.5% year-on-year decrease in pepper production to 170,000 tonnes in 2024.


Only 25% of exported fruits and vegetables have been processed.

A favourable outlook was still anticipated for pepper exports this year due to reduced production and low inventory levels worldwide. However, 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%, 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, said VPSA President Hoang Thi Lien.

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.

From the perspective of a leading exporter to major markets, Phan Minh Thong, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Phuc Sinh Corporation, a Vietnamese pepper and coffee trader based in Ho Chi Minh City, highlighted the indispensable role of continued investment in deep processing for the sustainable development of Vietnam's coffee and black pepper sectors.

The seafood sector also recognised the importance of deep processing to enhance competitiveness, said industry insiders.

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 x40-45% to the total shrimp export value annually, she noted.

Dang Phuc Nguyen, 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 Vietnam to improve several issues, including deep processing.

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

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

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Source: VNA


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