Huge potential for fruit and vegetable export

Friday, Feb 23, 2024 07:27

Durian is a key export fruit of Việt Nam in 2023. Fruit and vegetable exports totalled US$510 million in January, representing a rise of 24.9 per cent over December and 112.1 per cent against the same month last year. — Photo

With robust export of fruits and vegetables, the industry has set a typical example for quick transformation in the context of economic difficulty to tap the potential and expand global reach.

Statistics of the Import-Export Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade showed that fruit and vegetable exports totalled US$510 million in January, representing a rise of 24.9 per cent over December and 112.1 per cent against the same month last year.

Looking back at 2023, many fruits saw impressive growth in export, such as durian by 430.1 per cent to $2.2 billion. The export revenue of dragon fruit reached $523 million, banana $242 million, jackfruit $168 million and mango $154 million.

Bright prospects are fuelled by the huge demand of the Chinese market, with Việt Nam negotiating for official export of more types of fruits coupled with efforts to promote exports to other markets such as the US, EU, Australia and the Republic of Korea, according to the department.

The department forecast the export of fruits and vegetables will reach $6.5 billion this year, after setting a record of nearly $5.6 billion in 2023.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Lê Minh Hoan said that the thinking needs to be changed to keep up with the market-based mechanism.

“Việt Nam is open, our market is the whole world and we are also a part of the global market. There is no certain data on how much the world consumes each year. Thus, the thinking must be changed,” he said.

The competition is growing fiercer, he said, adding that the planning for the agricultural sector also needs to be renovated. “The planning must be more market-based. We must have a framework to guide production following market signals.”

He also said that the industry should take advantage of trade agreements to expand global reach, besides domestic consumption.

Huge potential

There is huge potential for the fruit and vegetable industry to expand export which has just accounted for 2-3 per cent of the global fruit and vegetable export revenue.

General Secretary of Việt Nam Vegetable and Fruit Association Đặng Phúc Nguyên was optimistic, forecasting that the fruit and vegetable export would expand at 15-20 per cent in 2024 to set a new record high with the value to exceed $6 billion or even hit $7 billion.

The fruit export is growing at a good pace, but greater effort is needed to open markets for more types of fruits.

The market share of Việt Nam in the global fruit and vegetable market remained modest.

For example, the EU is the largest fruit and vegetable import market in the world with an annual value of up to $150 billion, but Việt Nam’s export accounted for just 0.18 per cent.

Nguyên said the EU is the third largest importer of Việt Nam’s fruits and vegetables, a potential market where Việt Nam could take advantage of the EU- Việt Nam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) to boost exports.

It is important that Việt Nam enhance product quality to meet global standards such as GlobalGap in order to expand to highly demanding markets like the EU.

Nguyễn Hồng Lam, Chairman of the Việt Nam Association of Circular Agriculture, said Việt Nam needs to develop value chains for agricultural products to improve quality and stabilise prices. — VNS

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