As the world has a soaring demand for cocao while supply is shrinking due to climate change, Vietnam has an opportunity to penetrate the world cocoa market.

The outlook was shared by experts at the second forum to strengthen sustainable development of cacao, which is jointly held by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and the Dutch Embassy in Vietnam, in Ho Chi Minh City on November 28.

They argued that though developed 10 years ago in the southern region, cacao planting has seen its potential thanks to appropriate natural conditions there.

According to Cas Vander Horst, Holland’s Deputy Ambassador to Vietnam, the world is projected to need an additional one million tonnes of cocoa by 2020.

Providing that Vietnam seeks solutions for high yield and quality cacao, the country will take the upper hand in leading the world’s cocoa suppliers, he implied.

The country increased 900 ha of cacao harvested in 1999 by tenfold in 2007, and recorded 22,000 ha today, mainly in the Central Highlands, southern and Mekong Delta provinces. It has set a target of 33,500 ha in 2015 and 50,000 ha in 2020, meeting both quantity and quality criteria.

To this end, the MARD has signed a Dutch-funded project to promote sustainable development of cacao in Vietnam.

The project is expected to be a nudge for the Vietnamese cacao industry to develop by providing technical support to raise the capacity of researchers, managers and farmers in hope to increase the output and quality of cocoa, and expand market access for businesses.-VNA