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May 08, 2024 / 20:54

Vietnam's first lotus root export to Japan

There are about 3,000 hectares of lotus cultivation in the Mekong Delta, mostly for seed production.

The first batch of 15 tons of frozen lotus roots was exported to Japan on May 7, opening up opportunities for lotus cultivation in the Mekong Delta.

A ceremony for the shipment exported to Japan. Photo: Dongthap newspaper
The shipment, worth nearly VND1 billion (US$39,480), was made by Dai Viet Lotus Foods JSC. This year, the company plans to export eight more containers to Japan worth about VND7 billion (US$276,365).
Nguyen Minh Thien, Director of the company, said the company had negotiated for two years and sent several samples to Japan to get its lotus seeds approved for export.
He added that the Japanese market is very demanding, requiring testing of soil, water and air samples from lotus growing areas, as well as processing procedures at the factory.
With the Individual Quick Freezing (IQF) technology, the food can be preserved for two years while maintaining its natural color and integrity. On average, 30% of the raw lotus root is used for export, while the rest is processed for domestic consumption.

Nguyen Xuan Thang, Deputy Chairman of the Dong Thap Lotus Industry Association, said that lotus roots can be grown year-round in the Mekong Delta, yielding 5-7 tons per harvest (four months). 

He added that there are about 3,000 hectares of lotus cultivation in the Mekong Delta, mostly for seed production, and only 200 hectares for lotus root production, which is relatively small compared to demand.
The Japanese and Chinese markets currently have high demand for lotus roots, while in Dong Thap and other provinces in the region, most of the area under cultivation is for seed production, Thang said.
"Vietnamese lotus can be grown year-round, while lotus in China's Yunnan and Sichuan provinces can only be grown in the summer," he said, adding that the Japanese market consumes about 100,000 tons of lotus roots per year, while China's demand is two million tons.
Dong Thap currently has 1,800 hectares of lotus under cultivation, including about 100 hectares of organic lotus.
In July 2023, the Agricultural Service Center of Thap Muoi District implemented a pilot model of lotus root cultivation on an area of three hectares in Truong Xuan Commune. It has achieved some success, providing high-quality lotus root raw materials that meet export requirements.