The Vietnam Cashew Association has suggested establishing a fund that will make cashew production sustainable. (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) – The Vietnam Cashew Association has suggested establishing a fund that will make cashew production sustainable.

It would also help strengthen linkages between cashew businesses and farmers, Dang Hoang Giang, deputy chairman of the association, known as Vinacas, told its ninth congress held in HCM City on July 1 to review the 2013-15 period and make plans for 2016-20.

The fund would raise money from four sources – the Government, cashew processors and exporters (1-2 USD for every tonne of cashew exported), donors and others, he said.

He said 50-70 percent of the fund would be used for programmes to improve cashew fields, research into cashew strains and support farmers.

The remaining would be earmarked for research and instalment of processing machinery and equipment, improving product quality, hygiene and food safety, and trade promotion both at home and abroad, he said.

The fund would be managed by a trust, he said.

Vinacas will continue to focus on four key programmes: “Working together with farmers”; “Cleaner production”; “Vietnam’s cashew value”; and “Export development”.

Nguyen Duc Thanh, Vinacas Chairman, said while exports of many agricultural products faced difficulties in 2013-15, cashew exports increased consistently in terms of both volume and value.

The country earned 2.5 billion USD from the export of 330,000 tonnes of nuts and cashew-based products last year, a year-on-year increase of 15 percent in value and 10 percent in volume, accounting for 9 percent of total agricultural export earnings.

Average export price was 7,300 USD per tonne in 2015, 12 percent higher than in the previous year. It was also the 10th consecutive year in which Vietnam remained the largest cashew exporter.

Vietnam in fact accounts for 50 percent of the global revenue for cashew exports.

In the first half of this year it exported 156,000 tonnes for 1.2 billion USD.

Its products are available in more than 80 countries and territories, with the US, EU and China being key markets.

At the congress, Nguyen Duc Thanh was elected to continue as chairman of the association for another term.-VNA