Cassava export earnings are likely to reach US$2 billion if local exporters penetrate the European and US markets, according to Nguyen Van Lang, President of the Vietnam Cassava Association.
He noted that while Vietnam has more than 100 processing factories meeting standards of choosy markets, major markets for Vietnamese cassava are currently limited to Asia such as China, the Republic of Korea and Taiwan.
According to the association’s statistics, the country now has 560,000 hectares under cassava cultivation, with an annual output of 9.4 million tonnes. It has planned to use all the cassava output for the production of bio-ethanol.
However, the economic downturn has delayed the operation of ethanol factories, forcing cassava producers to export their products.
Last year, Vietnam shipped abroad over 4.2 million tonnes of cassava products, bringing home US$1.35 billion, a year-on-year rise of over 57 percent in volume and 41 percent in value.
Vietnam is now the second largest cassava exporter in the world after Thailand.
The country’s bio-ethanol development project has set the target of producing 750 million litres of ethanol for domestic use by 2015, which will need about 4.2 million tonnes of raw cassava.