09:49 | 23/03/2018 Trade
(VEN) - Vietnamese businesses for the first time exported star apples to the US in late December 2017, opening up opportunities to increase revenues of the country’s farm produce exports.
Farm produce exports have encountered many difficulties in recent years due to a growing, diverse supply and falling demand, which is attributed to importing countries’ development of domestic markets, import reduction and increasing domestic production protection. Therefore, quality improvement and branding have become vital for domestic businesses to maintain and increase such exports.
Localities, sectors and enterprises have paid special attention to operational restructuring, quality improvement, and development of connectivity chains for key agricultural exports. Most localities have encouraged and implemented production in accordance with the Vietnamese Good Agricultural Production Practices (VietGAP). As of late 2017, 1,406 growers and 500 aquaculture facilities throughout the country were granted VietGAP certification.
All 63 provinces and cities nationwide have formed 746 safe agro-forest and fishery supply chains, 382 of which have been certified, contributing to increasing the country’s farm produce export revenues to US$36.37 billion in 2017, up 13 percent from 2016. Vietnam has exported farm produce to 180 countries and territories, including many discerning markets such as Japan (poultry meat), Australia (litchis, longan, and mango), and the US (star apples). The EU has reduced the pesticide residue inspection rate for Vietnamese dragon fruit from 20 to 10 percent.
After the successful initial shipment of star apples to the US in late December 2017, Vietnamese exporters are gearing for a second batch in early March. Star apples meeting conditions for export to the US will be purchased at VND28,000 per kilogram at orchards, triple the price of product purchased for domestic sales (VND8,000-10,000/kg). They are expected to be sold in the US for a price double or triple the purchase price. The opening of Australia’s market to Vietnam’s high quality Luc Ngan litchis in 2015 paved the way for their import to many other markets including France, the US, Malaysia, and Thailand.
In a bid to further boost farm produce exports to discerning markets, the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development have been building a world agricultural product market information system while at the same time drafting investment promotion policies for the agricultural sector, and improving trade promotion for key agricultural products. Many exporters have invested heavily in the agricultural sector.