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Marketing of Chestnuts in Cao Bang Province, Northern Vietnam  

Marketing of Chestnuts in Cao Bang Province, Northern Vietnam

This Report on Chestnut Marketing presents data on formal and informal marketing systems for the main chestnut-producing Districts of Cao Bang Province. The data were collected through surveys and interviews of farmers, market traders, and officials. . Chestnuts grow mainly in the four north-east districts of Cao Bang Province: Trung Khanh, Ha Lang, Quang Uyen, and Phuc Hoa. All locally produced chestnuts are sold under the label ?Trung Khanh nuts? even though some are sourced in Ha Lang, Quang Uyen and Phuc Hoa Districts. Except in Cao Bang town, where there is a daily market, markets at District and Commune level operate on a five-day cycle. . Many chestnuts sold in Cao Bang Town market are not produced in the province, but are imported from China and are commonly marketed as if produced locally. The harvest season for Trung Khanh chestnuts is of two months duration from mid-September to mid-November. The harvest season in China, however, is 3 to 4 months long, from mid August to late December. Storage facilities in China further extend the marketing season for chestnuts sourced there, for another two months. . Trung Khanh nuts are sold by quantity, priced per 100 nuts, not by weight (kg). Obviously, therefore, the price varies by size, or Grade, of nuts. For comparison, 1 kg of Class I nuts contains about 100 nuts; 1 kg of Class II nuts contains 120-130 nuts; and of Class III, 160-170 nuts. Chestnuts imported from China are sold by weight - unless masquerading as Trung Khanh nuts. . The most common form of marketing in Trung Khanh District is for farmers to sell at the farm gate to Trung Khanh traders. These Trung Khanh traders sell retail in Trung Khanh market, and wholesale to Cao Bang and other outside traders, and to agents who are buying for semi-official procurement of chestnuts for symbolic gift purposes, a market sector variously estimated at from 20 to 50% of present total production. . Data on production volumes are weak. The annual total is probably in the range of 75 tons, of which probably about 70 tons is produced in Trung Khanh District. The volume reaching the retail market is estimated at 40 to 50 tons per season from Trung Khanh, and probably another 2 to 3 tons from the other three Districts combined. Prices vary according to size, quality and season. Farm gate prices suffer from market uncertainties, unsystematic harvesting and collections, unreliable quantities, and lack of collective bargaining. . In summary, then, chestnuts from Trung Khanh enjoy a large unsatisfied demand that will absorb production increases for several years. Farmer returns can be improved through attention to quality improvements, better post-harvest management, and collective arrangements to influence farm gate prices. Larger-scale processing or storage is unlikely to be economic until total volume increases several fold. . Recommendations are made, the most important one being that farmers organise themselves into Chestnut Growers? Associations, with the support of the CBBCRDP in analysing the factors and options for doing this. Other recommendations relate to improvements in nut size, quality and handling; and to targeted credit availability.

Published by: Cao Bang - Bac Kan Rural Development Project -
Uploaded on: Mar 2006
File size: 248 KB - Language: English
Keyword(s): Forestry , Non-Timber Forest Products
Category: Environment

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