According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), Vietnam exported 1.79 million tons of coffee worth 3.36 billion U.S. dollars last year.
However, merely over 325 million U.S. dollars came from exports of processed coffee, said MARD. Local insiders said many things need to be done to double Vietnam's export revenue of the product.
Nguyen Van Lang, former deputy minister of Science and Technology, told local Tien Phong (Pioneer) newspaper that despite ranking No. 1 worldwide in terms of Robusta plantation area, productivity, output and export revenue, Vietnam is facing numerous challenges as hundreds of thousands of hectares of over 25-year-old coffee trees are aging.
In addition, the coffee tree re-farming is too slow while old way of farming is causing waste of water, land and water pollution. Coffee deep-processing remained limited, said Lang.
Meanwhile, Vicofa Chairman Luong Van Tu said in order to increase incomes, local farmers should apply technological advances in seeding, watering, and use of fertilizers to help improve coffee productivity and lower cost.
According to MARD's Department of Cultivation, the country's total coffee plantation area hits 643,000 hectares. Coffee is now planted in 22 out of 63 localities across Vietnam.
MARD had set the total coffee plantation area for Vietnam's Central Highlands, the main coffee bowl, at 447,000 hectares by 2020. However, the current plantation area of the whole region mounted to nearly 540,000 hectares, said MARD Minister Nguyen Xuan Cuong.