From the beginning of June 2022 to now, the price of dried coconut in Tra Vinh province continues to go down by 10,000 VND/dozen (12 pieces) depending on the product quality and transportation costs. Specifically, dried coconut is purchased at gardens at 25,000 – 35,000 VND/dozen.

According to Mr. Huynh Khac Nhu, General Director of Tra Bac Joint Stock Company (TRABACO) specializing in producing activated charcoal from coconut shell coal and coconut products for exports, the reason for the declined price of dried coconut is that the export markets of products from coconut have been restricted for months. Coconut products cannot be exported to China because this country implemented a policy of tightening export market management for controlling the COVID-19 pandemic. Besides, some coconut exporting countries in the region and the world have lowered the selling price to attract customers.

Mr. Ngo Van Thinh, My Cam commune, Cang Long district, has one hectare of coconut with an average output of about 1,000 pieces/month. According to Mr. Thinh, with the current coconut price, he only has an income of about 20 million VND/month, a decrease of 40 million VND compared to the beginning of 2022, with the coconut price of 80,000 VND/dozen.

A farmer in Luong Hoa commune, Chau Thanh district, Tra Vinh province is harvesting coconut. (Photo: Thanh Hoa)

Mr. Le Van Dong, Deputy Director of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of Tra Vinh, said that the province has a coconut growing area of nearly 25,000 ha, ranked second in the country, just behind Ben Tre province, with an output of about 300 million pieces/year. Although the price of coconut is unstable, the provincial agricultural sector recommends that farmers should not abandon coconut trees, because this tree is suitable for soil conditions and well-adapted to climate change. Besides, the province is taking many measures to upgrade the value chain to create sustainable income for farmers.

Specifically, in early June 2022, the People’s Committee of Tra Vinh issued Decision No. 977/QD-UBND approving the Strategy for upgrading the coconut value chain of Tra Vinh province in the period 2022-2025. Accordingly, the province will develop the organic coconut chain under VietGAP standards with raw material areas concentrated in districts: Cang Long, Tieu Can, Chau Thanh, Tra Cu, Cau Ke, Cau Ngang, and Tra Vinh city. The scale is about 24,200 hectares associated with enterprises in the coconut industry to create products with high and stable added value. The province will connect enterprises and coconut growers to develop production, increase income from 10-15%, and create jobs for about 1000 rural workers.

In the coming time, the province will develop about 550 hectares of specialty Macapuno coconut, concentrated in the districts: Cau Ke, Cang Long, Tieu Can, and Chau Thanh; expand the growing area, and improve aging coconut gardens of about 3,000 hectares with productive and high-quality varieties. This is to create concentrated raw material areas, associated with the strategy of product development and processing of enterprises.

The province tries to achieve a coconut yield of about 16 tonnes/ha by 2025 and has at least 8,000 ha of organic coconut; of which 6,000 ha have international organic certification, accounting for 32% of the province’s coconut area, and are committed to purchasing at a price 10-15% higher than the market price by enterprises; there are at least 10 enterprises associated with coconut producers to build raw material areas for processing and consuming high value-added coconut product chains.

Currently, Tra Vinh Provincial People’s Committee is directing relevant agencies and units to focus on attracting investment, supporting enterprises, and creating links to develop concentrated coconut raw material areas under VietGAP standards and organic associated with processing plants and target markets. The provincial agricultural sector and the localities will allocate funds annually to achieve the objectives of the Strategy and develop coconut raw material areas with high quality, meeting market needs and ensuring sustainable income for coconut growers.