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  • Global foothold the target for Binh Phuoc cashew nuts 01/13/2020

    Jan 13th, 2021

    The southern province of Binh Phuoc, dubbed Vietnam’s “cashew capital”, is working towards boosting the popularity of its cashew nuts among global consumers, especially in demanding markets such as the US and the EU. About 170,000 ha of cashew are being grown in the province, mostly in the districts of Phu Rieng, Bu Gia Map, Bu Dang, and Dong Phu, which generate 243,000 tonnes each year, according to the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. The Agro Processing and Market Development Authority at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said quality and taste are strengths of Vietnamese cashew nuts compared to foreign competitors, and those from Binh Phuoc are rich in nutrition and of superior quality. Huynh The Du from Fulbright University Vietnam said the province is struggling to build its own cashew nut brand, as local producers continue to import low-quality raw cashew nuts from Africa and Cambodia for export processing. Imported raw materials account for 70 percent of cashew processing, he said, voicing concerns about the limited capacity of small-scale production facilities, which has affected product quality. Du underlined the need to improve the added-value of production chains through attracting investment in intensive processing, boosting mass production, and identifying mechanisms to facilitate stronger ties between businesses and farmers. Nguyen Van Hieu, Deputy Director of the provincial Department of Industry and Trade, said Vietnam’s cashew nut exports now fetch around 3.5 billion USD, making it the top foreign currency earner among agricultural products. The country needs more than 1 million tonnes of raw cashew nuts for processing every year. As only some 300,000 tonnes are sourced domestically, the remainder must be imported, with most coming from West Africa. He noted that, in late December, the Binh Phuoc People’s Committee granted an investment certificate to a Dutch enterprise investing in cashew nut value chain. Mekong Corporation Europe BV (MCE) from the Netherlands and Vietnam’s An Viet Phat Energy Co. Ltd will invest some 250 million USD in the endeavour. They will develop a cashew nut growing zone of 200,000 ha, a cashew nut production plant with a capacity of 168,750 tonnes per year, a cashew nut shell oil factory producing 118,125 tonnes per year, and another turning out products from cashew nut shell residue. They are also set to build a cashew nut research institute in Bu Dang district’s Duc Lieu commune. MCE Director General Nguyen Thanh Tan said the cashew nut value chain in Binh Phuoc will be developed in accordance with European standards, and all products will be exported to Europe. He expressed his confidence that with its experience and capacity, the company will successfully develop a brand for Binh Phuoc cashew nuts in the global market.