Cocoa sector in search of fresh way forward

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At a seminar in HCM City, talks were held regarding how the agricultural sector, companies, and researchers should do more research into the cocoa market, analyze its value chain and socio-economic impact, and utilize the by-products of the crop to develop the sector.
Le Duc Thinh, deputy head of the Department of Cooperative Economy and Rural Development, said not much research is done into cocoa and the industry lacks professional researchers.
At a seminar organized by the Cao Nguyen Xanh Joint Stock Company, he said most researchers in the field are from other sectors and many of their studies are not useful.
They focus on particular problems to cope with the short-term challenges related to production, quality improvement, expansion of cultivation area and disease management, while basic research to achieve greater understanding of the fundamental aspects of the sector is lacking.
Thinh said, the government has invested in research but that mainly focuses on seedling and farming techniques, and few studies are done on market strategies, developing the domestic cocoa market, or developing the value chain.
Nguyen Van Hoa, deputy director of the Department of Crop Production, said though cocoa trees were introduced to Viet Nam in the 1950s, cocoa plantations did not prosper until 10 years ago.
Since cocoa is still a relatively new crop in Viet Nam, more research is needed to come up with better cultivation techniques to improve efficiency.
The area under the crop has increased from 2,000-3,000ha in 2003-2004 to nearly 20,000ha now.
Those areas applying proper farming techniques achieve very high yields.
Experts said the industry has new opportunities thanks to the growing global demand, which is expected to cause a shortage of one million tons by 2020.
This is Nick Veinot. We will be back with more news from English123.
Source: vietnamnews

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