Add mushrooms to the growing list of agricultural products that Vietnam intends to be a world leader in exporting. As mushroom cultivation rapidly expands in the soil-rich country, Vietnam expects to more than double its mushroom exports to as much as $200 million annually within three years.
This year Vietnam will produce 250,000 tons of mushrooms, mostly for domestic consumption. But expansion capabilities are virtually limitless because of abundant straw, sawdust and sugarcane needed for mushroom production; the agriculture ministry says using just 10% of available growing materials would result in 1 million tons of mushrooms and $1 billion in annual export revenue.
Visionary Vietnam foresees rapid expansion of foreign demand for mushrooms, and rising prices, because of perceived health benefits. Currently Vietnamese mushroom growers cannot keep up with demand for the 16 varieties they produce, mostly in southern provinces, where conditions are suitable to compete favorably with their exporting counterparts in South Korea, Japan and Taiwan.
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