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Vietnam’s Mekong Delta farmers spend $291mn on crop protection in H1: GfK

Wednesday, October 08, 2014, 18:53 GMT+7

The crop protection market in the Mekong Delta in Vietnam generated some US$291.5 million in revenue in the first six months of this year, more than three-quarters of which were from fungicide and insecticide, a German market research firm said Wednesday in a press release.

More than 23 million metric tons of crop protection products, including insecticide, fungicide, herbicide, seed treatment, plant growth regulators and molluscicide, were sold by retailers in nine localities in the region, GfK said, citing findings from its latest RetailTrack survey.

The Mekong Delta, known as Vietnam’s granary, is a 39,000 square kilometer region in the southwestern part of the country where the Mekong River approaches and empties into the sea.

The region is home to Can Tho City, and 12 other provinces, namely An Giang, Dong Thap, Hau Giang, Kien Giang, Long An, Soc Trang, Tien Giang, Vinh Long, Tra Vinh, Ca Mau, Bac Lieu, and Ben Tre.

The last four provinces in the list were not surveyed in the GfK study, which was conducted between January and June 2014.

Rice is the main produce of Vietnam, which GfK said is one of the richest agricultural countries in the world.

In 2013, the Mekong River Delta churned out some 44 million metric tons of rice for half the country’s population (about 90 million people). The delta also produces rice for export every year.

A GfK retail census conducted last year revealed that around 6,300 stores sold crop protection products in the Mekong Delta to help generate enough rice to meet this demand.

“Vietnam is amongst the top global rice producers and exporters with close to 90 percent of all crops grown in the Mekong Delta being rice,” said Van Tran Khoa, managing director for GfK in Vietnam.

“Such intensive agricultural activities naturally lay the foundation for a lucrative market for crop protection products which are essential items for farmers to safeguard their valuable harvest and livelihood in the country.”

Fungicides and insecticides dominate the crop protection sector in Vietnam, accounting for nearly 77 percent of total sales.

In the first half of the year, fungicides and insecticides generated $128 million and $95.6 million in revenue, respectively.

Herbicide is among the top three crop protection products purchased, although it constituted only 14 percent with a $40.8 million turnover.

According to GfK findings, the top three revenue-generating provinces for the crop protection industry are An Giang, Dong Thap, and Kien Giang with 21, 16, and 12 percent of the total market value in the six-month period.

The sizeable market of Vietnam’s crop protection sector has attracted more than 100 brands offering their products in this region.

“Although competition in this sector is intense, three key players dominate with slightly over a third of the total market share, while the rest are occupied by the smaller brands, many of which are generic,” Khoa noted.

The managing director said the larger proportion of farmers opting for smaller and generic brands indicates the “price sensitivity” of the sector, which he said is noteworthy for crop protection businesses.

“Devising an attractive pricing strategy is key to maintain competitiveness in Vietnam’s crop protection market,” he concluded.

Headquartered in Nuremberg, GfK provides market and consumer information for its clients to make decisions.

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