Demand soars as Vietnam becomes big mushroom importer
VietNamNet Bridge - About 20 million tons of mushroom are consumed every year worldwide. In Vietnam, the demand for mushrooms as food and medicinal purposes has been increasing rapidly.


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In mid-October, Tu Phuong, a private enterprise, announced the company officially became the official importer of maitake mushrooms from Japan.

Maitake is one of the major culinary mushrooms favored in Japan thanks to its pharmacological effects, especially good for the immune system. It also helps people lose weight, prevent and cure cancer and reduce the side effects of chemotherapy.

Prior to that, in August 2018, shiitake (Lentinula edodes) was first imported to Vietnam through official channels. 

In fact, shiitake has been available in Vietnam for many years. It is brought to Vietnam across the border gates and it sells well despite the high price, VND8 million per kilogram.

Vietnam is also a promising market in the eyes of other Japanese food companies. Thirty four Japanese enterprises attended the Japan food, agro-forestry and seafood product program last July, bringing a lot of high-quality products, including mushrooms. 

Matsutake, the mushroom species considered the most expensive in the world with the selling price of VND30 million per kilogram, is also available in Vietnam. It is believed to contain a substance to prevent cancer and help reduce the sugar volume in body, the leading cause of women’s aging.

According to Masafumi Yuzawa, managing director of Yukiguni Maitake, the company plans to export 4 containers of maitake to Vietnam through Tu Phuong. Vietnam is the next market the company is targeting, after it successfully penetrated Malaysia and Thailand.

Vietnam is also a promising market in the eyes of other Japanese food companies. Thirty four Japanese enterprises attended the Japan food, agro-forestry and seafood product program last July, bringing a lot of high-quality products, including mushrooms. 

Twelve enterprises said they wanted to expand distribution networks in Vietnam, while 22 wanted to introduce new products here.

South Korean, Thai and Chinese mushrooms are sold in Vietnam. Analysts believe that more South Korean mushrooms will arrive in Vietnam as they are getting cheaper thanks to the ASEAN-South Korea FTA.

Vietnam is also a country with great potential in producing mushrooms. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) has decided that Vietnam would export $450-500 million tons of mushrooms a year by 2020, while the domestic output and consumption is coveted to rise to 1 million tons.

However, experts think that it will be difficult to implement the plan. Because of limited techniques, farmers still grow mushrooms on a small scale;  mushrooms can preserved for 3-5 days only. To produce clean & safe mushrooms, enterprises need investment capital of VND30-40 at minimum, a big amount of money for Vietnam’s small enterprises.

American, Japanese, German and Taiwan producers came to Vietnam with plans to grow mushrooms for export. However, there is not much information available about cooperation projects.


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Kim Chi

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