Vegetable, fruit exports surpass crude oil for first time
Revenue from vegetable and fruit exports has reached more than US$3.1 billion so far, up 17.1% year-on-year and outstripping crude oil export earnings for the first time, Lao Dong newspaper reported, quoting Thao Xuan Sung, chairman of the Vietnam Farmers’ Union.
The vegetable and fruit section of a supermarket in HCMC. The revenue from vegetable and fruit exports in January-April outstripped crude oil export earnings for the first time
According to the Agro Processing and Market Development Authority of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Vietnam exported US$380 million worth of fruit and vegetables last month.
Speaking at the third National Farmers Forum in Hanoi on October 14, Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue said the revenue from fruit and vegetable exports was likely to hit US$4 billion this year. Crude oil exports to date remained below US$2 billion.
Vietnam currently has 10 agricultural products with export turnover of over US$1 billion each, including five products with export revenue of more than US$2 billion each, Deputy PM Hue added.
Many agricultural products have had bumper crops, but they have been adequately consumed thanks to localities’ efforts in promoting consumption, such as litchi in Bac Giang Province and longan in Hung Yen and Son La provinces, the deputy PM added.
However, Hue expressed concern over the low labor productivity in the agriculture sector. At present, 38% of laborers in the country are working in the agriculture sector, and 60% of the population is in rural areas, but the sector contributes only 15% to the country’s gross domestic product.
He called on local farmers and farm produce processors to tap foreign markets, saying the country would develop trading floors for agricultural products to reduce risks for farmers and ensure benefits for producers, consumers and distributors.
At the forum, Sung noted that the outbound sales of agro-forestry-fishery products reached US$29.64 billion in the nine-month period, and the amount may hit some US$40 billion this year.