Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam’s plant protection
product market is valued at 1 billion USD a year, but the country is still
heavily dependent on imports.
The Ministry of Industry and Trade estimated
that in the first five months of the year, Vietnam imported 400 million USD worth
of pesticides and materials, a 41 percent year-on-year increase. In May alone,
the import value was 98 million USD.
The ministry said 53 percent of the total
imports were from China, and the rest from Thailand, the Republic of Korea,
India and Germany.
Between 2012 and 2013, imports of pesticides
surged from 55,000 tonnes to 112,000 tonnes. In 2016, the amount was 100,000
tonnes and this figure shows no sign of abating.
Hoang Trung, director of the ministry’s Plant
Protection Department, said in the past five years, Vietnam annually spent
around 500 million USD to import pesticides and materials from China. Of the
total imports, 48 percent were herbicides (19,000 tonnes), insecticides
accounted for 32 percent (16,400 tonnes) and growth regulators about 900
Trung said 99 percent of the pesticides in Vietnam
were imported, excluding some domestically produced biological drugs and herbs.
Department data shows about 2,000 plant
protection products are used in the country, traded by more than 200
businesses. Nearly 100 processing plants meet half of the total demand for
products with a capacity of 30,000 tonnes to 40,000 tonnes a year. Vietnam also
has about 30,000 agents providing plant protection products.
Up to 40 percent of some 100,000 tonnes of plant
protection products imported into Vietnam are bottled for export to 40 markets,
which bring in a sizeable turnover. The remaining 60 percent are used in Vietnam.
Le Thi Khanh Hoa, PR Manager of Syngenta Vietnam
Company specialising in researching and developing products, told online
newspapers that it took time to produce a new plant protection product.
It often take 10 years to 12 years to research,
develop and register, together with 25 years of studies in laboratories and
fields, as well as assessment of effects on the environment, people and harmful
organisms, to launch a new plant protection product. The spending reaches
around 260 million USD, Hoa said.
In addition, it has been a challenge for both
the Government and plant protection producers to promote the use of the
products in more than 10 million small-scale farming households around the
Currently, counterfeit and poor quality plant
protection products are being sold, affecting the health of firms and farmers,
as well as the quality of agricultural products. The Government should pay more
attention to this issue, and supervise and enforce strict measures to fine
violators, she suggested.
The high investment and weak management have
resulted in counterfeit goods flooding the market. On the other hand, the lack
of policies and mechanisms to promote investment in this field has been a
barrier for local producers who prefer the higher profits of imports rather
than producing products themselves.
However, experts say that as the Government
focuses on increasingly harmful organisms and urges local producers to improve
productivity, the investment in developing plant protection products will
provide opportunities for the local sector to become more active in pest