Interview with Mr Nguyen Duc Thanh - Part 3

What do you think about the contribution of cashew industry to Vietnam agriculture?

In my opinion, Vietnam agriculture recently has got many impressive achievements in exporting rice, coffee beans, peppercorn, cashew and a variety of fruits. They’re all on the top of the world. However, the number of processed products for exporting – which means high value-added products – is still humble. Although in cashew industry, we do not use imported machinery or technology, the product is highly value-added according to Dr Hoang Tuan.

Nowadays, cashew plays an important role in Vietnam agriculture industry with export turnover reaching $3.5bil USD (2018-2019). Cashew is in the top 5 agriculture industries which have the highest export turnover, even greater than rice, coffee beans, peppercorn and the same as vegetables. In the 2019 Conference, Department of Agriculture and Rural Development set the target at $5bil export turnover in 2025 for cashew industry. With this, cashew export turnover would be in the top 10 of agriculture products of Vietnam.

What do cashew trees mean to you, sir?

In terms of economic and political values, cashew trees provide benefits to mitigate poverty, cover up unoccupied land and bald hills. Cashew is an economic tree. Recently they’ve been helping farmers to get wealthy. I have been working with cashew trees for more than 30 years. I think about it every day. It gave me a lot like money, family, career, friends and reputation. I usually say to my colleagues: “We owe cashew trees a lot, it’s time for us now to do something more to pay back”.

I never think of a day that I stop doing cashew. If there is one, it is the last day of my life.