Recently, Dong Thap province has held the first Dong Thap Lotus Festival with the theme “Sen Ngày mới” (New Day Lotus). The event is considered as a way to promote the image of the province, the local cultural values as well as the OCOP products made from lotus plants.
In terms of the market approach, in addition to promotion activities, increasing scientific and technological content and enriching ideas for products made from lotus plants need attention. And, it is the issue that the Dong Thap lotus industry is facing.
According to some businesses which are producing products from lotus plants, there is the overlap of ideas between lotus products of Dong Thap province for examples lotus leaf tea, lotus seed milk, lotus tea or dried lotus seeds. There is little difference between lotus products of the same type when the comparison is made within the province. If they are compared with the products from other provinces there will be huge similarity between them.
According to Nguyen Thuy Kieu, Director of Ba Tre Limited Company based in Tam Nong district, Dong Thap province specializing in lotus products, the company has produced lotus seed milk since 2017 and now, there are five or six other companies in the province producing the same product.
As for lotus leaf tea, Ba Tre Co.Ltd. has been producing the product for many years. However, there are now 10 or 12 units that are making the product which is the same as that of the company. Generally, the differences between them are only packaging and places of production as they use the same technology that is freeze drying technique to process lotus leaf tea. What these companies need is a freeze dryer, thus the quality gap between their products is small.
General Director of Dai Viet Lotus Foods Joint Stock Company Nguyen Xuan Thang said the quality of most of the products made from lotus plants was basically equivalent if they got OCOP certificates because these products mainly went through primary processing. He added that deep processing and deep research were needed to make unique products. “Processing technology is rather like each other. If we want to think about production technologies we must come up with ideas for our products. We must make our product different from others that are available on the market and they must meet market demand,” said Thang.
Director of Huong sen Dong Thap Production and Trading Company Limited Nguyen Trong Huong said that to make unique products it was necessary to go into scientific research because researching was the key and once the key could open a door, the road leading to the success would be spacious.
According to Huong, lotus products of his company have been put up for sale on the market both domestic and international. However, the company will continue to stay focused on researching into new lotus products which are unique and well accepted by the market.
Apart from the overlap of ideas, the production of products from lotus plants has been facing a number of issues such as the development of material growing areas. Supply instability and variable quality have limited the competiveness as well as the ability to claim a larger market share of Dong Thap lotus products.
Translated by Mai Tham
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