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BUSINESS IN BRIEF 5/3   2010-03-05 - VNA

Ministry limits new coffee cultivation

 

 
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) will keep the country’s total coffee cultivation area of between 450,000 and 500,000 ha, with an average productivity of 2 or 2.4 tonnes per ha in coming years.

 

The cultivation areas will be located in several provinces in the Central Highlands and the south east and north central regions only to ensure higher productivity and better management of coffee quality, according to the MARD’s Cultivation Department.

 

Department representatives said in the agency’s report that the ministry’s limitation of cultivation areas was aimed to ensure stable supplies of coffee products in both domestic and overseas markets.

 

Over the past few years, oversupply has led to a drop in the world market price. The growth of the industry in Vietnam has been spectacular in the last decade. The area under coffee has increased from a mere 19,000 ha in 1975 to 454,000 ha in 2005.

 

In 2007 alone, the area soared to 506,000 ha, up by 10,000 ha as compared with the figure in 2006.

Last year, the industry produced about 960,000 tonnes, up 6,300 tonnes as compared with 2008. This year, it expects to generate between 1.08 and 1.26 million tonnes.

 

In 2009, the country exported 1.18 million tonnes of coffee, up 11.71 percent. However, it earned just 1.73 billion USD, down 18.03 percent.

 

Industry insiders said there were decreases in prices of Vietnamese coffee products due to oversupply and low quality. In particular, the price of a ton of coffee was down by between 400 USD and 500 USD in 2009.

 

To ensure productivity as well as quality, the ministry also plans to take other measures, including requiring localities to use new high-yield and good quality seeds for their coffee plantations, while consolidating their local coffee seed multiplication establishments to ensure quality supplies.

 

About 25 percent of the country’s coffee cultivation area are in need of reform or are being replanted due to old and stunted trees.

 

The ministry will also ask coffee processing and trading companies to classify products and examine quality immediately according to a set of national standards coded TCVN 4193:2005.

 

In the near future, coffee enterprises would have to apply the world’s Common Code for the Coffee Community (4C) to ensure a sustainable development for the local industry.

 

Provincial People’s Committees will be responsible for adjusting coffee development activities in their localities according to approved plans, and strengthening management to prevent unplanned development practices.

 

The ministry has asked them to provide guidelines for farmers to help them apply intensive farming methods, and harvest coffee in line with technical requirements.

 

The Vietnam Coffee Corporation will invest more in processing technology, and increase trade promotions to advertise Vietnamese coffee products.

 

The Cultivation Department said it had already established a process to implement Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) for production of Vietnamese coffee.

 

It has also proposed that the ministry issue plans soon to use international standards for coffee bean exports, and co-operate with international organisations to train producers and professional inspectors, with the aim of improving the quality of exports.

 

Vietnam expands power investment in Laos

 

Vietnam and Laos have agreed to jointly conduct a feasibility study on construction of the Nammo hydropower plant, a critical project to ensure local supply and energy export to Vietnam.

 

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) to this effect was inked on March 4 between Nguyen Thanh Huan, General Director of the Vietnam Electricity Group (EVN)’s International Company and Laos’s Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Thongmi Vongvisay.

 

The plant will be constructed in Laos’s Xiang Khouang province with a total capacity of 62MW and an estimated investment of 105 million USD.

 

With professional experience and financial capacity, the EVN’s International Company said it would ensure the completion of the feasibility study within 18 months as agreed under the MoU.

 

Property industry expects 20bln USD in FDI

 

Around 20 billion USD worth foreign direct investment is expected to flow into the property sector this year, the Vietnam Tourism Property Association said.

 

This represents an increase of 20 percent over last year and 50 percent of the total FDI expected this year.

 

The Ministry of Construction said property firms have so far registered to develop 263 low-income housing projects with a total investment of 72.7 trillion VND (3.8 billion USD).

 

Of them, 30 projects with 7,000-10,000 apartments are expected to be completed this year.

 

Can Tho hosts talks on pangasius farming

 

Producers, conservationists, government officials and experts joined a meeting in Can Tho city on March 4 to present and discuss feedback on standards for pangasius (tra and basa fish) farming.

 

The two-day discussion is the final meeting of the Pangasius Aquaculture Dialogue (PAD), which was first launched by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) in 2007.

 

“There is a huge demand for farmed pangasius in the market place, but what is missing on the market is a credible label for environmentally-friendly pangasius,” said Flavio Corsin, a WWF coordinator.

 

Corsin said pangasius farming is one of the fastest growing forms of aquaculture and 90 percent of the farming activities are conducted in Vietnam , especially in the Mekong River delta.

 

The explosion of pangasius farming poses challenges to not only in aquaculture practices but also to consumer health and the environment.

 

Scores of participants agreed that in order for pangasius farming to develop sustainably, producers need to build a standardised fish farm, which must be located within a planned aquaculture area. Sewage water from the farm must be discharged properly so as not to affect other producers. The location of the farm must not hamper waterway transport and the movement of marine creatures.

 

The necessity for each farm to have a minimum of 5,000 cu.m of water per tonne of fish was also raised as one of many other requirements.

 

The final standards are expected to be drawn up this May.

 

Since its inception, the PAD has become a forum to field opinions from pangasius farmers in Vietnam and Bangladesh regarding farming standards so as to ensure effective and environmentally-friendly pangasius production.

 

Int’l manufacturing expo to open in Hanoi

 

More than 200 manufacturers from 20 countries will showcase their innovations, production methods and the latest technological services at an exhibition from May 20-22 in Hanoi.

 

Vietnam Manufacturing Expo 2010, which is seen as the largest manufacturing industry event in the first half of this year, is a combination of four smaller international exhibitions--“InterPlas Vietnam 2010”, “InterMold Vietnam 2010”, “Automotive Manufacturing Vietnam 2010,” and “Automation Vietnam 2010”--according to the Reed Tradex company, a leading exhibition organiser in Thailand and the Southeast Asian region.

 

The event will help equipment and machine providers seek potential manufacturing partners in such areas as mould making and automation. Several new fields such as safety and security will also be introduced at the event.

 

Before the opening ceremony, a forum entitled “Vietnam Manufacturing Expo and NEPCON Vietnam” will take place on March 18 to promote the manufacturing industry in Vietnam and help build stronger relationships among foreign and domestic partners.

 

Hanoi craft villages earn hundreds of billions of VND per year

 

Nearly 100 out of the 1,270 craft villages in Hanoi have posted revenues of between 10-50 billion VND per year--some even reaching the hundreds of billions.

 

Craft villages in Hanoi mainly operate in such industries as ceramics, garments, footwear, sculpture, embroidery, rattan-bamboo weaving, copper casting, jewellery, food processing and metallurgy.

 

In 2009, Hanoi ’s craft villages reached a combined production value of around 7 trillion VND, accounting for 10 percent of the city’s total industrial-handicraft production value.

 

The villages boasting the most impressive revenues included the Bat Trang Ceramics Village, with 283 billion VND; the La Phu Village – specialising in weaving and candy making, with 587 billion VND; and the Van Diem Carpentry Village, with 105 billion VND.

 

The villages now attract nearly 1 million labourers, making up over 42 percent of the total working in the city’s industrial-handicraft sector.

 

Hanoi has built programmes and projects to develop rural industries with a focus on restoring and developing traditional crafts and craft villages as well as seeking and expanding consumption markets in and outside the country.

 

The city has also issued a regulation on recognition of the “ Hanoi Traditional Craft Village ” and “Hanoi Artisan” titles in order to preserve and develop craft villages.



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