14:53 | 17/02/2016 Economy- Society
(VEN) - Yen Bai Province’s Van Yen District is well-known for its cinnamon. Cinnamon is grown along the inter-provincial and inter-district routes towards the communes of Vien Son, Dai Son, Xuan Tam and Mo Vang. Cinnamon is a major asset to the local Dao ethnic minority.
Van Yen District has around 30,000 hectares of cinnamon growing
Cinnamon has been grown for a long time in Van Yen District. It has been included in each village convention and has become well-known in the northwest region. The Dao sees cinnamon as a valuable asset that has been part of their history. When a Dao girl marries, her family will give cinnamon as a dowry. Cinnamon growing areas have become larger over the years throughout Yen Bai Province. The province currently has 30,000 hectares of cinnamon under cultivation. This has helped reduce poverty for thousands of local people. In particular, incomes of many families have achieved hundreds of millions, even billions of Vietnamese dong.
All parts of the plants are used, not just the bark. Cinnamon trunks are used for housing, paper materials and toothpicks, while branches, tops and leaves are used for attar-cooking. In particular, after the geographical indication for Van Yen cinnamon was registered, its prices increased tripled compared to previous years. Around 7,000 tonnes of all kinds of dried cinnamon bark and other products are provided annually for the market bringing revenues of hundreds of billions of Vietnamese dong, contributing to changing the face of many rural areas.
Tall houses along the routes towards Dai Son Commune have been constructed. Hoang Van An from Dai Son Commune has five sons and all of them have built spacious houses. In addition, everyone in the commune have to admire to look at Dang Nguyen Phu’s house with modern design. He said that his family has about a dozen hectares of cinnamon. In addition to other earnings from agriculture, selling cinnamon branches and leaves pays for his children’s tuition fees and buy furniture for the house.
International brand needed
Van Yen Cinnamon Trading, Processing and Production Association Chairman Nguyen Ba The said that although the National Office of Intellectual Property granted certification for Van Yen cinnamon, the project on geographical indication development and management has not been seriously implemented. In addition, local people have overworked their land, posing risks in terms of exhaustion and degradation and affecting the quality of the cinnamon. Van Yen District annually provides around 7,000 tonnes of all kinds of dried cinnamon bark, 280 tonnes of attar and 40,000 cu.m of wood for the market. Average bark prices range from VND38,000-40,000 per kg, while attar prices reach VND520,000 per kg with the key markets of China and India.
Nguyen Ba The said that management systems in communes, processing facilities and trading units in order to control quality, while boosting marketing are needed.
Stephane Passeri, project coordinator of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization on promoting geographical indications in Asia said that to achieve higher economic efficiency, establishing the internal control system is vital. Cinnamon products need to be tested by a system following international standards to win consumer trust.
Hanoi Association for Brand Protection and Anti-Counterfeiting Deputy Chairman Trieu Quang Thin said that building a brand and registering geographical indication worldwide required huge budgets, while procedures remain complicated. However, to protect and maintain a brand for Van Yen cinnamon and Vietnamese agricultural products in general, its must be done.
The first cinnamon festival was organized in Vien Son Commune under Yen Bai Province’s Van Yen District in September 2015 in order to display and introduce products to domestic and foreign visitors. The event marked the start of efforts to promote Van Yen cinnamon products abroad.
Cinnamon is grown along roads throughout Yen Bai Province. It has helped local people reduce poverty and has been seen as valuable asset.