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Ben Tre's Fresh Coconuts Ahead of Mainstream Export Opportunities to China

Ben Tre's Coconuts, known for their nutritional benefits, low fat content, and delightful taste, are increasingly becoming popular in tropical fruit consumption. The Chinese market's immense demand for coconuts, coupled with the country's limited domestic production meeting only 10% of the market demand, relies heavily on coconut imports to satisfy consumer needs. Presently, Vietnam boasts over 180,000 hectares of agricultural land dedicated to coconut cultivation. The majority of these coconut plantations are concentrated in the coastal provinces of Central and Mekong Delta regions, such as Tra Vinh and Ben Tre. This has propelled Vietnam to the seventh position in global coconut production.

The demand for coconut imports in China continues to rise, creating a substantial gap in supply. Hainan Island, the primary coconut-producing region in China, only manages to produce 250 million coconuts annually, while the market demand in China reaches a staggering 2.6 billion coconuts each year. Additionally, there is a significant need for processing 1.5 billion coconuts, creating a substantial supply-demand disparity.

Local coconut farms are making concerted efforts to enhance product quality. Notably, to facilitate convenient coconut exports to China, businesses have invested in establishing organic coconut farms. The certification of over 7,000 hectares of coconut farms as organic serves as clear evidence of this commitment.

Mr. Cao Ba Dang Khoa, Secretary-General of the Coconut Association, emphasized China's high demand for fresh coconuts and its desire to establish connections to facilitate the mainstream import of Vietnamese coconuts. In preparation for this, Ben Tre has positioned itself favorably to export fresh coconuts to the Chinese market. The province has implemented pilot programs with six concentrated coconut production zones, five organic production zones, and one zone dedicated to coconut water production. Ben Tre has developed over 23,700 hectares of coconut plantations, representing over 30% of the province's total coconut cultivation area, yielding over 230,000 tons annually.

Mr. Huynh Quang Duc, Deputy Director of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of Ben Tre province, expressed optimism, stating, "The quality of coconuts is excellent. China highly values our coconuts and has conducted on-site surveys of our cultivation areas and packaging facilities. The most fundamental solution is chain linkage, and we have seen tangible results from this approach, creating avenues for our products to penetrate major markets with stable outlets. Our province has actively prepared and signed agreements to facilitate mainstream exports, a crucial step in this process."

Mr. Huynh Quang Duc also highlighted that expanding mainstream exports to both the Chinese and US markets would provide significant motivation for businesses within and outside the province. This would encourage them to register and comply with standards for planting areas and packaging facilities, bringing enthusiasm to coconut farmers in Ben Tre.

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