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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs   30 April 2013  

Vietnam’s Mekong River Delta is home to nearly 6,300 crop protection stores

29 April 2013, HO CHI MINH –Mekong River Delta is one of  the most intensive rice production region in Asia, churning out some 22.4 million tonnes (2011) or over half the country’s rice needs. The latest retail census findings from GfK Vietnam reveal the existence of around 6,300 stores selling crop protection products in Mekong River Delta contributing to this rice production.
According to GfK’s research, the top three provinces with the most crop protection stores are An Giang, Dong Thap and Tien Giang which together account for over 40 percent of the region’s outlets.
“Sitting on one of the most agriculturally-rich land areas in the world, it is no wonder that Vietnam, more specifically the Mekong River Delta, has become a major rice producing region generating over 50 percent of the country’s total rice output and driving a dynamic and competitive market for crop protection products,” said Van Tran Khao, Managing Director for GfK in Vietnam. “Regular purchases means it is essential for farmers to have convenient and easy access to these stores. For this reason, crop protection stores have as high concentration as say, two and a half times that of the number of mobile phone stores in the region,” he explained.
Stores come in various sizes with the majority being small ‘Mom and Pop’ shops serving the local village. “However, a quarter of such stores are large stores which collectively occupy 70 percent of the total market value in the Mekong River Delta region,” said Van.
Fungicides, insecticides and herbicides are the major sectors, making up over 80 percent of total store sales of crop protection products, with the balance contributed by seed treatments, plant growth regulators and molluscicides.  Most stores also supply fertilizers, seeds and farming tools.
GfK’s specialist Animal and Crop Health team has been tracking rice in Vietnam since 2006 through the farm-level ‘AgriInsight’ research which provides twice-yearly information on the crop protection inputs growers need to achieve high levels of productivity.
“With rice being a staple food across Asian countries and Vietnam being one of the largest producers and exporters, a high level of dependency is placed on crop protection –an increasingly important market in the country,” commented Van. “GfK is excited to be at the forefront of this evolving and modernizing industry, providing powerful insights to business with our comprehensive suite of research services in crop protection,” he concluded.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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