A farmer is harvesting coffee beans. (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The local coffee industry should reform production and processing of coffee products to gain added value from those products, experts said.

Vietnam has produced a total output at 1.4 million tonnes of coffee every year, and 95-97 percent of the total output has been exported, but export value has not been high.

Vietnam has had a total area of 640,000ha to grow coffee, 7 percent higher than the development plan of 600,000ha in 2020, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development's Plantation Department.

Ma Quang Trung, head of the department, said the old coffee tree is a challenge for the coffee industry because they would affect the income of farmers and the reputation of Vietnamese coffee on the world market.

In addition, the small production scale and unequal production skills of farmers have prevented farmers from becoming major producers of coffee, from approaching credit for production, renewing of the coffee tree, and application of new technology for production, Trung said.

Meanwhile, Vietnam has processed 10 percent of its total coffee output for export but the products including instant coffee products, and roasted and ground coffee products, have not achieved a high volume, strong brand or high quality to compete with popular brands around the world.

Huynh Quoc Thich, Deputy Director of Dak Lak Agriculture and Rural Development Department, said production and processing stages have seen numerous problems and there has been very little cooperation in production, processing and consumption.

Many coffee production and export enterprises in the province have not paid attention to development of material regions for coffee, he said. Also, the existing purchase price has not encouraged coffee growers to produce high quality coffee.

Nguyen Nhu Hien, expert of the Plantation Department, said the department has promoted restructuring of coffee production to improve quality of coffee and ensure its sustainable development.

By this year end, the Central Highland provinces would replace new coffee trees on a total area of 61,000ha. That would increase the area replacing new coffee trees to 77,000ha by 2020, reported Vietnamplus.

To have sustainable development for the coffee industry in the long term, Trung said farmers should implement the correct production processes to ensure high capacity and quality.

Meanwhile, enterprises should promote building of the brand and increase processed products to gain higher export value, he said.-VNA