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Vietnam urged to earn money from organic agricultureTuesday, February 16, 2016 > 10:28:10
“If Vietnam focuses on organic agriculture, its farm produce would have great advantages in the world market,” said Nguyen Lam Vien, general director of Vinamit, a company that makes dried fruit.
Vietnam rich in farm produce, but farmers remain poor
Dragon fruit, a favorite in many markets in the world, has been grown in Binh Thuan province for 20 years.
Do Van Dung, director of Be Dung Trade, Service & Import/export Company, said 70-80 percent of fresh dragon fruit is exported to China, a very unstable market.
Though the export volume has been increasing steadily, farmers remain poor. The US and Europe have opened their markets to Vietnam’s dragon fruits. However, the high air transportation cost has hurt farmers.
Dung imported a drying system worth VND20 billion and wasted 20 tons of fresh dragon fruit before successfully creating dried dragon fruit slices.
He hopes that the product, made of clean, organic materials, will attract customers.
Vo Phat Trien from Viet Duc Food Technology Company also said developing farm produce from clean, organic materials is the way Vietnamese companies should follow.
He believes Viet Duc’s dried mango has been a favorite in Germany for 10 years because the product is made of clean material.
Meanwhile, Vien from Vinamit said when he participated in a trade fair in the US, some foreign partners told him that it would be better to make and sell organic products, saying these can bring high profits.
Vien said Vinamit, when making dried bananas, does not use normal bananas though they look better in appearance.
A forest of natural bananas, covering an area of 6,000-10,000 hectares in U Minh Thuong and U Minh Ha areas in Mekong River Delta, provides materials to Vinamit to make the products.
Pham Minh Thien, managing director of Co May Enterprise, said his company can make oil from bran, which contains elements suitable for making cosmetics , medicine and mushroom.
Vien is also the deputy chair of the Vietnam association of enterprises that make high-quality products from Vietnamese produce, created by small-scale agriculture.
These cannot compete with produce from other export countries which have big-scale production. Therefore, it would be better for Vietnam to conquer niche markets.
“Organic farm produce is what Vietnam should strive for,” Vien said, adding that processed organic farm produce can be sold at prices 50 percent higher than normal products.
Organic products are understood as products which do not use 80 kinds of chemicals and fertilizer during cultivation.