Post harvest losses hinder Vietnam’s exports

Former head of the Institute of Agricultural Science of Southern Vietnam, Bui Chi Buu, said that post-harvest losses in Vietnam were significant, but the country had little in the way of post-harvest technology or machinery. Buu was quoted by the Thanh Nien (Young People) newspaper as saying that harvesting and post-harvesting technologies in Vietnam were on the edge of industrial revolution 2.0, implying they showed modest development, except some industrial husbandry models which had recently received good investment. Buu said that 70% of Vietnam’s export fruits and vegetables went to China, most of them fresh and unprocessed. Few of Vietnam’s fruit and vegetable exports went to the Republic of Korea, Japan, the United States or the European Union because of Vietnam’s limitations in storing and post-harvest processing, he said. Vietnam’s seafood faces similar issues, particularly with ocean tuna. Japan is a big market for this fish and is willing to pay high prices for it. A number of Japanese experts have attempted to assist Vietnamese fishermen in post-harvest processing, but so far, little difference has been made.According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), Vietnam’s post harvesting losses accounted for 10% of rice production, 10-20% of root and tuber crops, and 10-30% of fruits and vegetables.    In the Mekong Delta region – a major rice bowl for Vietnam, post-harvest rice losses were more than VND3 trillion (US$132 million) a year, or 10-12% of total rice production. Buu said that to reduce post-harvesting losses, it was necessary to call on investors to… [Read full story]

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