Trinh Xuan Hoat1, Mai Van Quan, Nguyen Thi Thi Bich Ngoc, Ha Minh Thanh, Nguyen Van Liem
In Vietnam, the total production area of dragon fruit is approximately 50.000 ha with White Flesh variety accounting for about 95% and Red Flesh variety accounting for about 5%. Dragon fruit is mainly grown in Binh Thuan, Long An and Tien Giang provinces with more than 37.000 ha. The average yield is 22.7 tons/ha with the total annual production of nearly 700.000 tons. Fresh dragon fruit is used primarily for domestic consumption (15-20%) and for exportation (80-85%) to 40 countries and territories. In addition to traditional markets such as China, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Netherlands and Taiwan, dragon fruit is exported to fastidious markets like USA, Italy, Japan and Singapore, and some new markets (India, New Zealand, Australia and Chile). In the first 8 months of 2016, China - the main export market of dragon fruits, accounting for 91.2% of total turnover - reached 518.1 million USD; USA - the second largest dragon fruit export market of Vietnam - reached 11.64 million USD, accounting for 2.1% of total turnover. Thailand became Vietnam's third largest dragon fruit export market with a turnover of US$1.09 million. However, dragon fruit production in Vietnam is facing many difficulties including: (i) The impact of climate change, diseases and insect pests, (ii) The price of inputs (fertilizers, pesticides) always tend to increase. This leads to the increase in the production cost and reduction in the competitiveness of dragon fruit both in the domestic and international markets, (iii) The price of dragon fruits is unstable and always depends on the cropping season and other market factors. The expansion to other markets meets high requirements mainly due to technical barriers, while the ability to meet quality standards, pre-processing technologies, preservation and long-distance transport in the dragon fruit production chain is slowly being improved, (iv) Major competitors in dragon fruit production such as China, Indonesia and Thailand are developing raw materials and penetrating bigger markets, especially in China and Indonesia. To develop the dragon fruit industry, the following solutions are necessary: diversification of products, organization of production, enhancing the effectiveness of pests and diseases management, development of diversity distribution channels, management of dragon fruit business, development of cooperation in dragon fruit production and procurement, and investment into processing of dragon fruit products.