The country’s export revenue of fruit and vegetable export would likely to reach US$2.5 billion by the year-end, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) forecast.
The ministry said the vegetable and fruit export value had experienced a significant growth over past 10 years, from US$235 million in 2005 to US$$1.8 billion in 2015.
Meanwhile, the statistics from the General Department of Customs revealed that by mid-September 2016, fruit and vegetable export revenue reached an estimated US$1.68 billion, a year-on-year rise of 28%.
These figures helped fruit and vegetable exports exceed rice to become the Vietnam’s third largest export commodity after coffee (US$2.37 billion) and cashew (US$1.89 billion).
Among 60 countries and territories importing Vietnamese fruits and vegetables, China was the biggest consumers, following by Canada, the Republic of Korea and the US.
According to the ministry, the positive export performance was attributable to greater efforts of Vietnam's exporters to promote vegetable and fruit exports to both traditional and new markets, including markets with strict rules, such as the US, the EU, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
The agricultural sector was also speeding up negotiations with countries aiming to boost export of key fresh fruits, including dragon fruit, rambutan, longan, litchi, mango and pomelo, according to the ministry.
Meanwhile, fruit producers in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta region were producing fruit products using good agricultural practices (GAP) to meet export market requirements, it said.
Many production models have been implemented and certified for rambutan and green-skin pomelo in Ben Tre Province, Nam Roi pomelo in Vinh Long Province, Vinh Kim star-apple, Hoa Loc mango and pineapple in Tien Giang Province and mango in Dong Thap Province, VietGAP and GlobalGAP.
Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Quoc Doanh said Vietnam should continue to accelerate fruit and vegetable export in the time to come to better meet increasing demand on the world market.
However, experts said the quality and safety of fresh fruit remained challenges for vegetable and fruit export, especially in strict markets such as the US, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. Production of vegetable and fruit products for export had to meet VietGAP and Global GAP standards, they noted.
Head of MARD's Plant Protection Department Hoang Trung agreed that quality control was vital to increase fruit and vegetable exports.
Vegetable and fruit producers should also follow import regulations closely to create favorable conditions for local vegetable and fruit products to enter export markets, he said.
Other experts suggested producers to invest in advanced technologies to process fruit and vegetable products as well as develop closer links with farmers from plantation to processing in order to ensure quality for their export products./.