Sugarcane sector needs new ideas

August 19, 2017 | 09:56
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Domestic and international experts in the sugarcane industry gathered at the fifth TTC annual international sugarcane conference in Phan Thiet City in Binh Thuan Province to discuss ways to help the Vietnamese sugarcane industry develop sustainably.
Speakers discuss at the conference in the southern coastal city of Phan Thiet. - VNS Photo

The conference, under the main theme “The restructuring of Viet Nam’s sugarcane industry”, was co-organised by the Viet Nam Sugarcane and Sugar Association (VSSA) and TTC Group on Thursday and Friday.

The country’s sugar output hit nearly 1.2 trillion tonnes in the 2016-17 crop, VSSA reported. This is the third continuous decline in sugar output.

Slow market consumption, high inventory, complicated sugar smuggling issues and ASEAN’s imposition of a sugar import tax rate of zero per cent after 2018 have created an urgent need for Vietnamese businesses to adapt, and have forced a rethink of the whole country’s sugar industry.

As the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development implements a policy of restructuring the agricultural sector towards enhancing added value and developing sustainably, sugar companies are constantly innovating to promote internal strength, improving their competitive position domestically and internationally.

However, as many difficulties and problems still exist, the Vietnamese sugar industry needs radical solutions to be able to grow.

This year’s conference attracted more than 400 guests, including leading domestic experts, policymakers, research institutes, businesses and representative farmers in the field of sugarcane and speakers from the world’s biggest sugar producers such as Brazil, India, China, Thailand, Australia, the US and the Philippines.

Domestic speakers provided an overview of policies for the Vietnamese sugarcane industry; its current status and orientations for new sugarcane cultivation in Viet Nam by 2020 with a vision to 2030.

Meanwhile, international speakers gave presentations and shared experiences about product diversification to enhance the value chain of sugar; steam saving in sugar mills and applications of optical sensor technology in a sugar production system in Louisiana.

Apart from the goal of forging international links in order to promote the growth of the Vietnamese sugar industry as in previous seminars, this year’s international conference is an opportunity for enterprises to exchange and share experiences, while seeking cooperation and investment opportunities.

It is also a chance for businesses to propose effective production plans, as well as support sugarcane farmers in approaching advanced information and technology from around the world.


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