Coconut Factories Close En Masse in Ben Tre

2:51:17 PM | 22/11/2005

Vice chairman of the Ben Tre Provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Ngoc Bao on November 14 said most coconut factories in the province had to suspend production due to shortages of materials.
Last weekend, Phu Hung Coconut Processing Co. - a joint venture between Vietnam and Sri Lanka and the largest coconut enterprise in Ben Tre - had to suspend production. Thousands of workers have become redundant.
According to the Provincial Department of Planning and Investment, Ben Tre now has 12 sizable coconut copra processing factories with a combined daily output of four tonnes and dozens of small-sized enterprises. On average, each year, these factories need 280 million coconuts. However, at the moment, Ben Tre can only produce 241 tonnes of coconuts. Worse still, enterprises from China, Thailand and Cambodia are ready to pay higher prices to buy coconuts in the province.