Vietnam is the world’s largest pepper exporter now. Beating other producing countries such as Brazil, Indonesia, India,… Vietnam has taken nearly 60% market share of global pepper exporters. Is there something special in Vietnam pepper cultivation?
In this article, let’s explore Vietnam pepper cultivation to understand the process of creating pepper that meets both quantity and quality for the global market.
An overview of Vietnam pepper cultivation
Vietnam pepper is known as the No. 1 producer and exporter in the world, being a prestigious and high-quality commodity. It can be that thanks to Vietnam pepper cultivation. Vietnam focuses on developing pepper cultivation to grow pepper with high productivity.
The scale of Vietnam pepper cultivation
Vietnam has always held the no. 1 position in the world in terms of pepper production and export. Currently, the area of Vietnam pepper cultivation is more than 140 thousand hectares. In the last 12 years, Vietnam pepper cultivation has changed greatly from intensive areas to planting techniques.
In 2010, the area of new Vietnam pepper cultivation reached only 51.3 thousand hectares. However, from 2010 to 2016, due to the constantly rising price of pepper, people focused on expanding the area of massive planting, causing the area of Vietnam pepper cultivation to increase rapidly. In 2015, it reached 101.6 thousand hectares, nearly double that in 2010. Vietnam pepper cultivation increased sharply in 2017 and 2018, the highest reaching over 150 thousand hectares in 2017.
The output of Vietnam pepper cultivation and export volume has expanded at a rate of 30% per year since 1998, keeping pace with the region’s rapid development. Vietnam overtook the United States as the greatest exporter in 2021 with a total export volume of 56,506 tons or 28% of all exports globally. Vietnam, which is also from here, has consistently ranked first in terms of production and exports, with an estimated 95,000 tons of exports annually on average. Nearly 80 nations and territories currently import Vietnamese pepper. Exports of premium goods, particularly to the US, Japan, and EU nations, are rising.
Types of pepper in Vietnam pepper cultivation
There are four types of pepper in Vietnam pepper cultivation: black pepper, green pepper, red pepper, and white pepper
- Black pepper
Black pepper in Vietnam pepper cultivation is made from unripe peppers which are dried until the skin turns black.
- Taste: spice, mildly fragrant
- Essential oil: 2%-2,2%
- Peperine content: 6,6%-7,3%
- Uses: Black pepper is used to add flavor to various dishes. Moreover, best black pepper is used as medicine, a remedy for the treatment of health problems such as cough, sore throat, and colds
- Green pepper
Green pepper is often soaked in brine or vinegar. They may be dried, but they are more commonly served in brine in Vietnam pepper cultivation.
- Taste: fresh and tart flavor
- Essential oil: 1,53%-1,76%
- Peperine content: 5,9%-6,5%
- Uses: Green pepper is used to add flavor to vegetables, beef, fish,… In addition, green pepper has the effect of treating colds, warming the body, boosting the immunity of the digestive system as well as strengthening antioxidants in the body
- Red pepper
Red pepper is fully ripe and turns red but it is not dried and fermented in Vietnam pepper cultivation
- Taste: sweet, slightly spicy but more fragrant than Vietnam black pepper
- Peperine content: 3,4%
- Uses: Red pepper contributes a lot to medicine. It has the effect of stimulating diuretics, and laxatives, treating symptoms of flu, colds, and coughs,… Red pepper is also frequently used in dishes such as seafood, salad, and curries.
- White pepper
Green peppercorns that are fully ripe are used to make white pepper in Vietnam pepper cultivation. They are submerged in water to soften the skin and promote fermentation. After that, the skin is peeled off, leaving only the inner seed.
- Taste: white pepper is less fragrant because the peel has been removed in Vietnam pepper cultivation but it tastes spicier because it is overripe
- Essential oil: 2%-2,3%
- Peperine content: 7%-7,4%
- Uses: White pepper is often used to create a fragrance for luxurious menus without losing the aesthetics and color of the dish because of the black shell. In European dishes that use milk ingredients or cream as a foundation, the chef will prefer to consume white pepper to match the color with cream
Advantages of Vietnam pepper cultivation
- Natural conditions: Land and climate are suitable for Vietnam pepper cultivation to grow well
- Abundant human resources: Production workforce in Vietnam pepper cultivation is large. There is a lot of experience in cultivating technically demanding crops such as pepper
- The investment cost for pepper cultivation does not require much: Compared to other industrial plants such as coffee, cashew, rubber,… Pepper trees need the lowest investment cost
- High productivity: Compared to other pepper-producing countries, the productivity of Vietnam pepper cultivation is relatively high because Vietnam’s pepper gardens are quite young, from 10-15 years – the time when pepper trees give the highest productivity
Vietnam pepper’s price – the effect of Vietnam pepper cultivation
In 2021, Vietnamese pepper exports are estimated at 261 thousand tons, worth 938 million USD, down 8.5% in volume, but up 42% in value compared to 2020.
In 2021, Vietnam’s pepper exports have a shift in market structure. The proportion of exports of goods to the US, EU, United Arab Emirates, and Pakistan increased, while the proportion of exports to China and ASEAN markets decreased sharply.
The following table shows the export volume of the varieties in Vietnam pepper cultivation in 2021:
|Type||2021||Compared to 2020 (%)|
|Volume (ton)||Value (thousand USD)||Price (USD/ton)||Volume
|Ground black pepper||27,237||108,008||3,966||-7.8||23.8||34.4|
|Ground white pepper||6,297||30,734||4,881||47.0||97.2||34.1|
Below is a reference price list of K-Agriculture’s black pepper. For detailed information, please contact Mrs. Doris Dang
- Email: email@example.com
- Whatsapp: +84855555837
|No||Product name||Quantity||Package||FOB Price (USD/MT)|
|1||Black pepper 500GL FAQ||1×40”cont||25 or 50 kg PP/PE bag||3275|
|2||Black pepper 500GL MC||1×40”cont||25 or 50 kg PP/PE bag||3595|
|3||Black pepper 550GL FAQ||1×40”cont||25 or 50 kg PP/PE bag||3516|
|4||Black pepper 550GL MC||1×40”cont||25 or 50 kg PP/PE bag||3725|
|5||Black pepper 5MM||1×40”cont||25 or 50 kg PP/PE bag||3828|
Producing regions in Vietnam pepper cultivation
Currently, Vietnam pepper cultivation has 6 key provinces: Binh Phuoc, Dak Nong, Dak Lak, Ba Ria – Vung Tau, Dong Nai, and Gia Lai. In particular, the Central Highlands and the Southeast region ranked first in terms of area, quality and quantity.
In addition, there are other areas of Vietnam pepper cultivation such as Phu Quoc, Lam Dong, and Binh Thuan. Pepper is grown from Nghe An back to the South, a total of 18 provinces have areas for Vietnam pepper cultivation.
In Vietnam pepper cultivation, the three provinces that specialize in growing pepper are Dak Lak, Dak Nong, and Gia Lai.
The table of the area, productivity, and pepper output in the provinces of the Central Highlands in the period 2016-2020:
|Gia Lai||Area (ha)||15.697||16.322||16.278||14.681||13.673|
|Dak Lak||Area (ha)||27.588||38.615||37.601||36.396||34.235|
|Dak Nong||Area (ha)||16.350||27.899||32.902||34.552||34.957|
The rainy season, which lasts from May to October, and the dry season, which lasts from November to April the next year, are the two different seasons in the Central Highlands. The majority of the average annual rainfall – 1800 mm falls during the rainy season. It has the perfect amount of humidity for Vietnam pepper cultivation.
Moreover, Central Highlands having basalt soil is well suited for industrial tree growth such as pepper.
There are 3 main areas in the Southeast region, Binh Phuoc, Dong Nai, and Ba Ria – Vung Tay. The sub-equatorial environment in this area ensures year-round temperature stability.
Moreover, the Southeast region has 9 main soil groups, of which basalt soil and yellow red soil account for 40.8%, gray soil for 14.3%, and marine sandy soil for 10.2%, the rest are other land groups. The diverse nature of the soil allows to open up the prospects for the development of many crops, especially industrial crops with economic value.
The process of Vietnam pepper cultivation
Here are 7 steps in Vietnam pepper cultivation you can refer to:
- Step 1: Choose the soil for planting
It’s best to choose soils with a pH KCl of 4.0 – 4.5.
- The soil is easy to drain, has a slope of less than 25o, and is not flooded.
- The cultivation floor is over 70 cm thick, preferably over 1 m
- Organically rich soil, light to medium mechanized composition
- Step 2: Plot design, crop density
Concrete pillars in Vietnam pepper cultivation have a diameter/edge of the bottom of the cylindrical is 15cm, the top edge of the pillar is 10 cm high 3.5- 4.0 m. Planting distance 2 x 2.5 m or 2.5 x 2.5 m, density from 1,600 – 2,000 pillars/ha.
Living pillars: types of living pillars such as cages, rooster glue, sinuses, black threads, and small leaves … Planted at a distance of 2.5 x 2.5 m, the density of 1,600 pillars/ha. In Vietnam pepper cultivation, if the living pillar is a black canoe planted at a distance of 3 x 3 m, the density of 1,100 pillars/ha.
Combined planting: planting 1- 2 rows of living pillars alternating 1- 2 rows of dead pillars, planting with a distance of 2.5 x 2.5 m, the density of 1,600 pillars/ha.
- Step 3: Types of pepper-growing pillars
Planting pepper on live cylindrical is one of the farming measures aimed at sustainable production in Vietnam pepper cultivation. The living pillar produces a light scattered light in accordance with the ecological requirements of the pepper plant.
There are four types: Cassia siamea, Leucaena leucocephala, Wrightia annamensis, and Ceiba pentandra
- Step 4: Designing windshield and shading system
Requirements for shade trees in Vietnam pepper cultivation: It is possible to use some fruit trees to grow shade trees such as durian, butter, contributing to increasing income for pepper growers.
Method of designing windshield and shading system in Vietnam pepper cultivation: Rows of windshields perpendicular to the main wind direction. Double planting, crocodile fang style. The distance between the 2 rows is 2 meters, the tree is 6-8 meters from the tree. For pepper gardens grown with dead pillars (wood, concrete, brick), it is necessary to plant additional shade trees for pepper gardens. Plant a row of shade trees for every 3 rows of dead pillars.
- Step 5: Treating soil and pits before planting
Treat the soil in the pit before planting with drugs with the active ingredient Ethoprophos (except termites), and the active ingredient Metalaxyl (except diseased fungi). The mixing of manure filling the soil treatment pit in a pit is carried out before planting pepper for at least 15 days in Vietnam pepper cultivation.
- Step 6: Planting season
Pepper is planted at the beginning of the rainy season when the rain is even, and the soil is moist enough.
Vietnam pepper cultivation season for the main growing areas:
|Southeast Region||June – August|
|Central Region||August – October|
|Southwest Region||May – July|
- Step 7: Planting techniques
There are 2 ways to dig pepper planting pits in Vietnam pepper cultivation:
- Dig 2 holes on both sides of the pillar, each planted 1 gourd, as follows: 50 cm long, 50cm wide and 50cm deep or 60cm long, 60cm wide and 50cm deep, or dig a hole on one side of the pillar, plant 2 gourds: 80cm long, 80cm wide and 70cm deep, the ground is separate and the soil is deep to separate.
- Dig 2 holes/pillars, mix manure and fill holes
Vietnam pepper cultivation – Top 3 largest pepper exporters in Vietnam
The more development in Vietnam pepper cultivation, the more suppliers in the pepper wholesale market export. Here are the top 3 famous pepper exporters for you to consider:
One of Vietnam’s top pepper export companies is Hanfimex. Hanfimex Vietnam has been in operation for almost 30 years and exports to markets in Asia, the Middle East, the European Union, and the United States. Thanks to its expertise in Vietnam pepper cultivation and experience, Hanfimex has amassed a network of potential partners in the agricultural export industry over a protracted period of time, resulting in a long-lasting cooperative relationship.
K-Agriculture Factory is the best choice for you if you want to buy pepper. K-Agriculture has almost 25 years of expertise in producing and exporting agricultural goods from Vietnam to other countries. K-Agriculture is pleased to be among the top producers in Vietnam pepper cultivation who introduced the use of contemporary technologies in conjunction with standardized production procedures. The well-known Vietnamese exporter of rice, coffee, cashews, and spices is K-Agriculture.
In 2002, Visimex was established and joined the NIC GROUP. The company plans to establish a sustainable agriculture business with environmentally friendly products in Vietnam pepper cultivation to supply both domestic and international markets. Visimex has shipped to nearly 70 countries and pledges to only offer top-notch products that adhere to international requirements for food safety.