TIV conducts a novel Technology Assessment of the Vietnamese Agro-Processing Industry for UNDP, and elucidates Vietnam’s potential in the 4th Industrial Revolution in the agribusiness sector

The Vietnamese agroprocessing Industry is one of the fastest growing sectors of  Vietnam’s economy, in large part due to Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s “Industrial Development Strategy through 2025, vision toward 2035.” Despite its promise, there has been a dearth of analyses regarding the status of Vietnam’s food processing industry, particularly in light of growing global trends and the 4th Industrial Revolution, and need for sustainable practices. To address this TIV conducted a Pilot Study for UNDP in 2020. The Technology Assessment addressed multiple components of Vietnam’s Processing Industry including the historical and contemporary landscapes of Vietnamese food commodities and the industry’s vast spectrum of processing methods (ranging from traditional juice processing and canning to newer methods, such as pulsed electrical field processing (PEF) and microwave assisted Thermal Sterilization (MATS)).

Among other contributions of the study, TIV investigated areas of untapped potential. In particular, the analysis featured an extensive discussion on the apparent failure of Vietnam to exploit international markets, in addition to the industry’s neglect of commodity expansion and diversification opportunities. Perhaps most importantly, TIV offered insights into how Vietnam can prepare itself for the impending 4th Industrial Revolution. Namely, in a thorough investigation of multiple case studies of Industry 4.0 technologies, TIV provided an innovative roadmap towards navigating a future in which technological advancements – such as Big Data, the Internet of Things (IoT), Drones, and AI – will be of greater importance.

Among our chief findings, TIV identified opportunities for Vietnam’s agribusiness to reduce costs of its production and increase the exports of value-added processed products. This includes opportunities in mango and pineapple exports through modernized processing technology (such as high-pressure processing or pulsed electric field processing). These methods can generate larger quantities of processed mango and pineapple products that have a longer shelf-life, thus retaining their value and making them easier to export.

TIV also conducted an extensive analysis of trade issues analysis, suggesting Vietnam pursue countries with zero or very low tariffs, for example. We examined the trade flows of the Vietnamese mango and pineapple value chain, providing insightful data on its export capacities of mango and pineapple processed goods. We uncovered that currently, major markets in terms of size for both mangoes and pineapples continue to be concentrated in traditional markets, such as the US and countries in the EU. And that the average applied most favored nation tariffs in major markets for products along both value chains have shown a clear pattern of escalation for processed products in growing markets such as China, Korea and Japan. We recommended that in order for Vietnam to benefit from these markets, it should explore the possibility of negotiating duty free access for its many processed products along the pineapple and mango value chains.

Moreover, our experts delineated how Big Data can be used for analytics in multiple categories, such as consumer preferences. For example, trends in the customer behavior for certain products can lead to targeted interventions, such as producing low/sugar calorie jams or more tart pickles, etc.

 

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