New Height for Cashew Nuts

3:26:31 PM | 7/8/2005

New Height for Cashew Nuts


2004 was a successful year for Vietnamese cashew nuts with an output of 350,000 tonnes, processing of 400,000 tonnes and export value of US$410 million. Though planted on non-fertile and hilly land, cashew nut trees have improved the living conditions of the poor and increased the export value of Vietnam.


New strains improve life


Mr Ho Ngoc Cam, Chairman of Vietnam Cashew nut Association, reaffirmed that the new strains of cashew nut have greatly increased the output. With 200 trees per hectare after six years, the output can be 2-3 tonnes/ha and 28.9-32.3 per cent for export quality. Research institutes and enterprises in Southern province including Donafood are making joint efforts in developing the new strains. 2.5 million trees have been developed for 10,000-12,000 hectares. 350,000 tonnes of cashew nut were collected, 35 per cent more than 2003. Dong Nai province has 45,000 ha including 3,500 ha of high yield. Daklak has doubled the area with 20,000 ha. Households planting cashew nut trees have increased their income. However, due to drought, the crop in 2005 is expected to be the same as 2004.


New factories in operation


With stable export markets, processing has increased both in new factories and output. In comparison to 1990, the processing sector increased 5 times with some 100 factories and the capacity 28 times with 400,000 tonnes. The new factories are operating with high capacity especially in the year end to meet the delivery schedules. The processing output in 2004 was over 400,000 tonnes, 29 per cent more than 2003. The quality was also higher meeting the criteria of food safety. Many factories have upgraded the equipment treating waste and reducing pollution. Some of them have been granted certificates of ISO, GMP and HACCP.


However, the processing industry is facing a shortage of human resources and the added value must be improved to meet the taste and demand of the market.


Processed cashew nut export increases


In addition to traditional markets: US (41 per cent), China (20 per cent), EU, Japan, Australia, some enterprises are expanding to markets in Russia and Eastern Europe. Though the export contracts are not big in value, they will increase in 2005. 13 enterprises have been awarded by the Ministry of Trade and Bimico company (Tay Ninh) has been awarded Golden Star Prize. By the end of 2004, Vietnam had exported some 100,000 tonnes of cashewnut, 25 per cent more than 2003, with export value of US$410 million, up 40 per cent. Some enterprises have increased the export of processed cashew nut and it will be the goal of increasing added value in 2005.


Many enterprises have also developed domestic markets stimulating the home consumption with such products as salted and roasted cashew nut, cashew nut candies and cookies. In 2005, more products will be processed to increase the local market share to over 10 per cent.

  • Song Phuong