Vietnam’s pepper industry about to burst

According to Le Van Duc, Deputy Director of the Crop Production Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), as world market demand for pepper began to rise at the beginning of the decade, pepper production in Vietnam started growing at an alarming rate. He now predicts that “the bubble is about to burst”. A farmer rakes newly harvested pepper in Southern Binh Phuoc province. The total production area has increased threefold between 2010 and 2017. Vietnam is now the world leader in pepper production. It exports to 109 countries and territories, mainly to Europe, Asia and America. However, production in Vietnam is showing signs of deterioration due to diseases, lack of quality control, poor production links and poor value-chain development. Duc said the situation called for the pepper industry to restructure the sector. Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Nguyen Xuan Cuong, said that if the shortcomings were not corrected, they would affect sustainable pepper development. According to MARD data, by the end of 2017, the total pepper farming area exceeded the 2020 plan by more than 100,000 hectares, mainly concentrated in the Central Highlands. Duc said the danger was that although global pepper production had increased by 7 percent year-on-year in 2017, overall demand only increased by 2.4 percent. Considering current supply and demand, the pepper bubble would soon burst. Nguyen Nam Hai, Chairman of the Vietnam Pepper Association (VPA), said that as global consumption did not increase in tandem with supply, world pepper prices had… [Read full story]


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