The Mekong Delta province of Ben Tre was urged to cut down its exports of coconut material and raw processed products to prevent damage to the province, as heard at a workshop held on April 8 during the ongoing fourth coconut festival in the province.

Ho Vinh Sang, President of the Ben Tre Coconut Association, said that the locality exports about 100 million coconuts each year, making up one-fifth of the provincial coconut production.

He clarified provincial damage caused by large amount of coconut exports is seen in losing additional coconut values, reducing jobs and tapering off contribution to the provincial economic growth.

Furthermore, Vietnamese enterprises have encountered an unequally competitive environment as numerous Chinese taxes have been levied on Vietnamese coconut exports to the country, while Chinese traders are exempt from tax when purchasing raw coconut materials in Vietnam.

According to a study conducted by Dr Tran Tien Khai and his co-workers from Ho Chi Minh City University of Economics, large-scale coconut cultivation and processed coconut products will bring higher revenue than the export of material coconuts and semi processed commodities.

Khai said that exports of processed products including desiccated coconut, coconut shell charcoal and coconut jelly, could rake in 575 USD per 1,000 coconuts, well above the amount received from selling raw coconuts, compared to only 487 USD earned from 1,000 fresh coconuts.

Ben Tre is the country’s largest coconut cultivation with 63,000 hectares generating 500 million coconuts each year.-VNA