While the export of many agricultural and seafood products is increasing sharply, the export value of vegetables and fruits in the first five months of 2022 was only 1.47 billion USD, down 13.6% compared to the same period last year. In May 2022, fruit and vegetable exports were estimated at 300 million USD, down 11% compared to May 2021.
Mr. Nguyen Quoc Toan, Director of the Agricultural Processing and Market Development Department, was speaking at the Forum on June 8, 2022. (Photo: Internet)
On June 8, 2022, the Executive Board of the Information Forum on Agricultural Production and Consumption of Agricultural Products of the MARD organized an online forum “Strengthening sustainable development solutions for production and consumption of key Southern fruit products”.
DIFFICULTIES IN THE CHINESE MARKET
Mr. Le Thanh Tung, Deputy Director of the Crop Production Department (MARD), said that the main fruit and vegetable production in the South in 2022 is estimated at more than 7.3 million tonnes. Of which, the result of the first half of the year was estimated at 3.3 million tonnes and the rest half is estimated at 4.1 million tonnes.
According to Mr. Tung, in the first 5 months of 2022, the export turnover of agriculture, forestry, and fisheries was estimated at nearly 23.2 billion USD, up 16.8% compared to the same period last year. In particular, exports of the main agricultural product group increased by 10.4%, main forest products increased by 7.6%, and fishery products increased by 46.3%. However, the export value of Vietnamese fruit and vegetable in the first 5 months of the year was estimated at 1.47 billion USD, down 13.6% compared to the same period in 2021.
Mr. Tung said: “Up to now, there have been 4,000 planting area codes (300,000 ha) in 50/63 provinces and cities under the Central Government for 12 fresh fruits such as banana, dragonfruit, jackfruit, longan, lychee, mango, rambutan, watermelon, mangosteen, passion fruit. In particular, the Mekong Delta is granted 1,561 codes (accounting for 39.02%), the Southeast 224 codes (accounting for 5.6%), and the Central Highlands 168 codes (accounting for 4.2%)”.
Regarding the packing establishment code, Mr. Tung said that 1,864 packing establishment codes have been issued for fresh fruits in 37 provinces and cities allowed to export to the markets of China, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Korea, and Japan, etc.
Speaking of difficulties in consumption, according to Mr. Tung, China’s strict control of the Covid-19 pandemic affects exports. The requirements of quality, traceability of export markets, and disease control measures by China can slow export progress, causing congestion at the borders and affecting domestic consumption.
Explaining the sharp decline in fruit and vegetable exports in the first five months of 2022, Mr. Dang Phuc Nguyen, the General Secretary of the Vietnam Fruit and Vegetable Association said that it was due to the deep decline in market share in China. In particular, exports in the first four months of the year to China reached 625 million USD, down 28% compared to the same period. Mr. Nguyen hopes China will remove its Zero Covid policy from the end of this year to the beginning of next year.
Mr. Nguyen said that, in the past time, exports to China have shown signs of reduction, however, banana exports have shown extraordinary development. In May 2022, China imported 742 thousand tonnes of bananas, up 10% compared to the same period, in which Vietnamese bananas accounted for 43%, surpassing the Philippines with 28%.
Mr. Nguyen commented that in the coming time, China will increase imports of Vietnamese bananas. China’s banana-growing area has decreased due to the increase in input, land rental, and labor costs, causing an increase in import market share.
Vietnam’s fruit and vegetable exports decreased due to China’s Zero Covid policy. (Photo: Internet)
COMBINE FORCES TO REDUCE COSTS AND CREATE A BRAND NAME
Regarding the market expansion, Mr. Le Van Thiet, Deputy Director of the Plant Protection Department, said that Vietnam has now exported six fruits to the US including dragon fruit, mango, lychee, rambutan, longan, and star apple. The two parties are negotiating the final step of opening the export of grapefruit by getting opinions on consumer demand in the US.
China has agreed to allow Vietnam to export passion fruit. Durian is also in the last step of negotiating. The two parties are finalizing the Protocol on export regulations on planting areas, distributor codes, and disease management.
For the Japanese market, Vietnam has exported three types of fresh fruits. Dragon fruit and mango have been exported by the hot steam treatment method. The Japanese side also allowed the export of lychee last year. Currently, the Department of Plant Protection is negotiating with the Ministry of Agriculture of Japan to export lychee by cold treatment method, which is in the final testing phase. This method will be the premise for exporting other fruits to Japan.
Ms. Ngo Tuong Vy, Deputy Director of Chanh Thu Fruit Import and Export Co., Ltd. shared: Through international fairs, a point that Vietnamese enterprises should learn from other countries is the compliance and protection of the national agricultural brand name.
“Enterprises need to build teams or groups, visit each garden to check the quality, calculate indicators to produce products with the highest quality,” Ms. Vy recommended.
According to Ms. Vy, the Chinese market has changed a lot. If the localities do not spread to farmers to change their habits of outdated farming, it will be difficult for consumption. Therefore, all units involved in the chain from state management agencies, enterprises, and farmers must actively join to be able to succeed.
According to Mr. Luong Phuoc Vinh, Regional Director for Southeast Asia, Tentamus Group, the Europe market is very potential. “The standards by this market are not too tough. It is important that we understand the nature and requirements of the market, and our European partners will be ready to support us, ”
Mr. Nguyen Dinh Tung, General Director of Vina T&T Import-Export Company, raised the issue: Currently, many enterprises are facing difficulty in finding raw material areas that are issued with planting area codes.
“An enterprise cannot go to all localities itself to make planting area code. Therefore, it is suggested that localities should actively build planting areas with codes. When enterprises have demand, the locality supplies, it will be much more convenient ”, Mr. Tung said.
“In addition, the certification of planting area codes by year will be difficult for enterprises when they have to continuously apply for certification. This will make the export and delivery of orders to international partners delayed,” Mr. Tung said.
Mr. Nguyen Quoc Toan, Director of the Agricultural Processing and Market Development Department, suggested enterprises and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development solve some issues.
Firstly, strengthen production links, especially policies to support cooperatives, small and medium-sized enterprises, and start-ups. These are subjects that are often difficult to go alone and encounter many barriers when introducing agricultural products into the consumption channels.
Secondly, management agencies, enterprises, cooperatives, and people clearly identify the structure of agricultural production costs.
Thirdly, promote the construction of logistics centers and storage in border areas and large raw material areas.
“A team assigned by the Government will observe the Asia-Pacific Center for Agricultural, Forestry and Fishery Transactions at Km3+4 Hai Yen, Mong Cai, Quang Ninh. This is a large, strategic center for agricultural exports, and has an expected throughput of about 3 million tons/year, ”Mr. Toan informed.
Fourth, combine forces in cooperative to reduce the cost of inputs such as pesticides, fertilizers, and petrol.
Fifthly, it is recommended that the Vietnam Fruit and Vegetable Association keep in touch and regularly communicate with the Office of Agricultural and Rural Coordination in the Mekong Delta region, to solve the issues related to agricultural product stock, directly serving markets, cooperatives, and enterprises.