The 1-million ton sugar programme still plodding

Published: 26/12/2010 05:00



Many years ago, Vietnam kicked off the 1-million ton sugar
programme, deciding that it needs to produce one million tons of sugar by 2000.
However, the target remains out of reach, while Vietnam expects to import one
million tons of sugar by 2020.

years and one figure

In 1995,
when Vietnam could only churn out 300,000 tons of sugar, the Government decided
that the country needed to be able to produce one million tons by 2000, making
the 1-million ton sugar programme as one of the most important national plans.
However, despite great efforts, the figure remains out of reach.

In the
2001-2002 crop, Vietnam made out 773,000 tons of sugar. Meanwhile, ten years
ago, the total output volume remains modest at 900,000-1 million tons.

this, Ha Huu Phai, Secretary General of the Vietnam Sugar and Sugar Cane
Association, said that the sugar cane growing area remains low, while the sugar
cane prices have been fluctuating all the time. He said that nowadays, farmers
do not like growing sugar cane, because the plant cannot bring a high enough
profit .

cane is the key plant in the central region, but the region oftensuffers from
unexpected typhoons which badly affect the productivity,” he said.

the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) does not blame the low
productivity on the small plantation area, but said that this is because of the
low yield.

“We now
can get 40-60 tons for every hectare of sugar cane, while the average yield in
the world is 100 tons,” the report by the ministry reads.

to MARD, more than 1000 sugar cane varieties have been used in Vietnam, 30
percent of which provides high yield. However, farmers still do not want to
shift to high-yield varieties, because sugar refineries pay little for sugar

Vietnam will import one million tons of sugar by 2020

Phai from
the Sugar Association said that Vietnam’s total sugar demand may reach two
million tons by 2020, and if the sugar production still maintains the current
output, Vietnam will have to import one million tons of sugar by that time.

he believes that the production of two million tons of sugar would still be
within reach if Vietnam sets reasonable policies to develop the sugar industry.

“If we can
raise the sugar cane yield, we will be able to make out two million tons of
sugar,” he affirmed.

representative from Lam Son Sugar Company, pointed out that while Vietnam tries
to produce more sugar, it forgets to manage the sugar cane prices.

company now has 15,000 hectares of sugar cane growing area and the company wants
to have another 15,000 hectares. However, it is not easy to expand the
plantation area, because this largely depends on the prices, while these have
been fluctuating all the time with a discouraging effect onfarmers.

The lack
of materials has made many sugar refineries unable to  run at full capacity.
many refineries have been reportedly running at only 50 percent of capacity for
the past many years.

MARD said
that the sugar volume in stock is now very low, while the demand in December
2010 and January 2011 is believed to increase sharply. Therefore, the ministry
has allowed some companies to import 200,000 tons of sugar to stabilise the
domestic market.

Thoi bao Kinh te Saigon

Provide by Vietnam Travel

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