Vietnam exports USD 200 million worth of tea in 2000

Ha Noi, Dec. 17 (VNA) -- Tea exports will earn Viet Nam an estimated USD 200 million this year.

The tea is sold in 30 countries - between 40 and 50 percent of it to the Middle East.

But markets have also been found in Japan, Hong Kong, Belgium and the United States.

As a result, between 1989-98 tea exports were 186,000 tonnes, including a record of 33,500 tonnes worth more than USD 50 million in 1998.

The country's tea is mostly grown in northern midland and mountain provinces, central Ha Tinh province and the central highland provinces of Lam Dong and Gia Lai either by farms or households. The acreage under tea totals more than 70,000 ha with yearly output of 45,000 tonnes of dried tea buds.

Viet Nam has favourable conditions for developing tea cultivation for export. But the tea industry has yet to develop its potential and is hampered by low-quality-and-yield tea seeds, and inefficient-processing technology for export.

The industry plans to have about 100,000 ha under tea, by 2010 producing 150,000 tonnes of dried tea buds and realizing an export turnover of about USD 370 million.

An estimated USD 100 million will have to be spent providing techniques for tea cultivation and harvest and renewing processing technology for this target to be reached.--VNA