According to Director of the provincial Department of Industry and Trade Le Van Khe, the province has conducted market studies to provide managers an insight into domestic and foreign demand for local fruits and to identify its competitive advantages.
Ben Tre has also restructured the local agriculture sector to make the most of the province’s advantages in farm economy and sea-based economy and at the same time, improve agricultural productivity towards mass production of high-quality agricultural products for processing and export.
Additionally, the province has zoned off large-scale farming areas for local fruits like coconut, mango, green-skin and pink-flesh pomelo, rambutan, mangosteen and durian.
It has also helped local enterprises upgrade agricultural technology and promote the use of scientific and technological advancements in farming. It has encouraged processing firms to invest in large-scale farms and expand links with growers to ensure stable production supply.
Ben Tre is famous for its Xiem coconuts, with some 72,000 hectares of coconut trees producing 600 million coconuts per year. Farms with other fruits cover nearly 28,700 hectares with annual output of approximately 350,000 tonnes.
According to statistics from the Department of Industry and Trade, though Ben Tre is a regional hub of many tropical fruits like coconut, most of its fruits have been only exported to the Chinese market in small volumes for years or sold in the domestic market. Over the past three years, the province’s farm produce exports were estimated at US$117 million, accounting for just 6% of its total shipments.
Thanks to the province’s efforts, its fruits have entered strict markets like the EU, the US and Canada, especially after local coconuts and green-skin and pink-flesh pomelos were certified with geographical indications.
The province plans to increase its coconut’s brand power by creating a network between coconut farmers and businesses, reducing the cost of production, providing funding for studying technology and techniques in coconut farming, as well as increasing land for coconut farming by 20%.