The Import and Export Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade reported that in the first 3 months of this year, although the export of agricultural products has encountered a lot of difficulties due to the impact of the Covid-19 epidemic,that of processed fruits and vegetables still increases. Particularly, in the first two months of 2020, the export value of processed fruits and vegetables was US $ 94.8 million, 24% more than the same period in 2019.
Processing exported dragon fruits at Lavifood factory (Long An). Photo by Tran Khanh
Processed products exported to some major markets have also increased significantly including China with 17 million USD, 24.5% increased; South Korea with US $14 million, over 3% increased; Japan with 8.9 million USD, over 3% increases; the US with US $ 7.9 million, 16.7% increases... It is forecast that when the Covid-19 outbreak in many countries, the demand for processed products continues to increase.
Mr. Le Duy Toan, Director of Duy Anh Food Co., Ltd (Cu Chi district, Ho Chi Minh City) shared their main products are all kinds of vermicelli, noodles, dry noodles so far ... When Covid -19 epidemic happens, many types of fruits in the country could not be exported and their prices have dropped significantly.
In the situation, Mr. Toan studied to add fruit ingredients into existing products, making dragon fruit and watermelon vermicelli... which are accepted and preferred by consumers. Mr. Toan said the current export orders of all kinds of vermicelli, fruit noodles are higher than the same period last year.
The story of Mr. Vo Phat Trien, General Director of Vietnam - Germany Company (Dong Thap province) is another typical example as his enterprise has fulfilled the plan to upgrade a fruit processing factory in Thanh Binh district, bringing the total processing capacity of the factory to 10 times higher than the first period in spite of the complicated Covid-19 epidemic situation.
At the same time, Mr. Trien invested in constructing the second vegetable, root and fruit processing factory on an area of 13ha with total estimated investment capital of VND 250 billion. After acomplishment, the company's total processing capacity will increase to 20 tons of finished products per day, increasing material consumption to more than 3.1 million tons per year.
Mr. Trien informed that in order to be able to bet all his capital on these processing plants, he explored and indentify the huge demand for processed fruits in Japan, EU... Last year, dried mango products
Troubleshooting for development
According to Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the country has about 150 fruit processing factories of all kinds. Most of these factories pre-process and process products for export.
Mr. Dang Phuc Nguyen - General Secretary of Vietnam Fruit and Vegetable Association said that currently the design capacity of Vietnam's vegetable and fruit processing industry reaches 10% of the output but only 5% is achieved, equivalent to over 1.2 million tons. Vietnam's goal is to increase the processing capacity to 25%, equivalent to more than 6 million tons of vegetables and fruits per year. However, investing in fruit processing takes time and much capital.
According to Mr. Pham Ngo Quoc Thang - Chairman of Lavifood Joint Stock Company (Long An), compared to exports, processing will help take advantage of all the fruit product floors after harvest, thereby increasing prices for agricultural products.
Mr. Huynh Thanh Vinh - Director of Dong Nai Department of Agriculture and Rural Development also informed that Dong Nai has called on businesses to invest in processing agricultural products due to its advantages of transport and agricultural development. However, apart from products such as noodles, cashews, coffee, pigs, chicken; fruit trees with large output of the province are still sparse with the participantation of processing businesses.
In fact, many businesses desired to establish headquarters in Dong Nai province and expand to others. However, most of the farming practices are still small, each household has their own process, so it is difficult for them to form the linkage chain. Finding large areas of land for businesses to invest in crop development in the province is also not easy.
After a period of serious decline due to the effects of the Covid-19 epidemic, since mid-March prices of many fresh fruits in the Mekong Delta have increased again.
The price of white and red flesh dragon fruits purchased at the garden has increased by 5,000 VND/kg compared to the end of February, the price of Thai jackfruit also increased 10,000 VND/kg, the price of durian increased from 7,000 to 10,000 VND/ kg.