According to the Vietnam Fruit and Vegetable Association (a member of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry - VCCI), Vietnam has an area of about two million hectares of fruit and vegetables with a total output of more than 25 million tons a year. In particular, the Mekong River Delta is where most fruit and vegetables are produced (about 60% of total production), followed by the East - South region (17%), the South - Central Coast (15%), and the Central Highlands (10%).
There are about 145 large scale fruit and vegetable processing establishments with a total designed capacity of 800 thousand tons/year and thousands of small-scale establishments. Vietnam's fruit and vegetable exports in 2021 increased by about 5-10% compared to 2020, reaching about USD 3.42 - 3.58 billion.
However, there are still a number of farming issues that affect the sustainability of fruit and vegetable production. The most notable is the use of pesticides, which is still common. According to the researches of the Vietnam Fruit and Vegetable Association, there are currently up to 260 pesticide products for vegetables and fruits on the market including herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, bacteria, etc.
In fact, the widespread and uncontrolled use of pesticides in many localities is seriously affecting natural enemies, polluting soil and water sources, forming harmful diseases with the potential resistance to pesticides.
The processing of vegetables and fruits generates a very high amount of waste and materials compared to the volume of raw materials put into use. For example, the post-processing waste of pineapple is up to 40-50%; that of mango is from 30% to 50% and banana is about 20%. If not treated properly but simply discharged into the environment, this will become become a food source for animals and insects that cause disease transmission.
The construction of greenhouses in all terrains is disrupting the structure of the green space, increasing soil erosion. The temperature in the area around greenhouses and net houses also increased frequently and abnormally. Rain in places with many greenhouses and net houses often cannot penetrate naturally, causing local flooding.
Information from the Import-Export Department (Ministry of Industry and Trade), in the first nine months of 2022, Vietnam's fruit and vegetable exports reached USD 2.45 billion, down more than 11% over the same period. Notably, the export of vegetables and fruits to many markets such as the US, Japan, the EU ... increased sharply. However, exports to the Chinese market dropped sharply, leading to an expected year-on-year turnover of only USD 3.2 billion, down 10% compared to 2021.
Specifically, in the first 9 months of the year, the export turnover of vegetables and fruits to this market of 1.4 billion people only reached about USD 1 billion, down more than 30% compared to the same period last year. In 2021, the Chinese market accounted for 57% of Vietnam's total export turnover while the figure for this year is only 44%. Meanwhile, exports to the US increased from USD 151 million in 2021 to USD 180 million; followed by South Korea with USD 125 million, Japan with USD 115 million and Thailand with USD 189 million.
It is worth mentioning that the export of vegetables and fruits to the EU still accounts for a modest proportion. Currently, in the structure of fruits and vegetables to this market, fresh products account for about 70%, and processed products account for only 30%.
Source: Vietnam Farmer Association, kinhtedothi
Compiled by VietnamCredit