Although the export turnover is still modest, the cinnamon industry in Vietnam is a sustainable livelihood for more than 200,000 ethnic minority households in remote provinces.
Eliminate hunger for ethnic people
Cinnamon and star anise are two non-timber forest products grown by Vietnamese people more than 100 years ago. Cinnamon is grown in Yen Bai, Lao Cai, Ha Giang, Thanh Hoa and Quang Nam provinces with an estimated total area of 150,000ha. Anise is grown in Lang Son, Cao Bang and Quang Ninh provinces with an area of 50,000ha.
According to statistics of the World Spices Association, Vietnam ranks third in the world in cinnamon production, ranking second after China in anise production. Cinnamon is consumed strongly in the markets of India, the Middle East, Japan, South Korea, the US and European countries, reaching an export turnover of about US $ 400 million / year. Although the export value of cinnamon and star anise products is relatively modest compared to other timber products, with more than 200,000 ha of cinnamon forest and star anise, it is currently a sustainable livelihood for more than 200,000 ethnic minority households. number in remote provinces.
Need support policies for more sustainable development
However, according to businesses, the cinnamon industry, is still facing some difficulties in varieties when there are 70% of cinnamon varieties, anise produced by people by experience, the quality of the seed is not guaranteed, only about 30% of the seed is supplied by agriculture companies or local government planting projects. In addition, Vietnam has more than 600 companies operating in the spice industry, but most of them are commercial companies, only interested in buying and selling and not building relationships with farmers.
Originating from the above reality, Mr. Nguyen Que Anh, Chairman of Lang Son Hoi Association, Head of lobbying program of Vietnam Cinnamon Association said that to develop sustainably for cinnamon and anise industry, it is necessary to have preferential and timely loans for ethnic people planting cinnamon. It is vital to have a master plan on cinnamon growing and producing regions so that investors can feel secure and have a long-term investment strategy.
Mr. Nguyen Que Anh also proposed that the Government should encourage the establishment of cinnamon growing and consuming cooperatives, and at the same time promote models of cooperation between cooperatives and the business community to ensure and raise the value of cinnamon and star anise products.