The opening ceremony had the attendances of Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc; Deputy Prime Minister, Head of South-West Steering Committee Vu Van Ninh; leaders and former leaders of the Party and the State; representatives of ministries and central agencies; leaders and former leaders of Ben Tre Province; representatives of Consul General of Japan, Cuba; corporations, companies, associations, foreign organizations in Viet Nam; leaders of departments, agencies and organizations in Ben Tre; representatives from many provinces planting coconut trees nationwide; sponsors; press and local people.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Ben Tre Provincial Party Committee Secretary, Chairman of People’s Committee Vo Thanh Hao said Ben Tre is considered as the land of coconut with about 63,000ha of coconut, representing over 1/3 coconut area of the country. The coconut trees have attached with Ben Tre people for many centuries. Coconut industry always has an important role in economic-social development of the province with yielding about 500 million coconuts per year, production value of coconut products accounting for over 15% of the province's industrial value; coconut products have been exported to over 60 countries and territories around the world.
To promote the success of previous festivals, in 2015, Ben Tre Province organizes the 4th coconut festival (from 7 to 13 April 2015) to enhance to introduce coconut products of Ben Tre Province and Viet Nam to visitors at home and abroad; create the opportunity to exchange and share experience in planting, processing and consuming coconut products among farmers, domestic and international businesses; at the same time to promote linkage and gradually improve value chain of Ben Tre and Viet Nam’s coconut products. Many special activities will take place in the framework of the festival, such as: week of Culture – Art – Tourism; art installation “Coconut Road”; Southern coconut cuisine festival; contests of coconut fashion; Miss Coconut; cultural exchange activities; exhibitions and trade fairs; artwork exhibition on coconut; workshop on “Coconut with health”; “Sparkling waterways” tour, Ben Tre orchard eco-tour...
At the opening ceremony, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said that Ben Tre has favorable conditions for economic development with a variety of fruits, of which the coconut brings high economic value and is considered a symbol of Ben Tre. Planting coconut brings economic benefits and also contributes to environmental protection thanks to high adaptability to climate change. However, in recent years, the coconut have not proved the advantages in Ben Tre’s economic development, people still have not benefited much from the coconut. In the future, Ben Tre needs further promotion, exchange, scientific research, call for investment in production and procession to increase the value of coconut trees and coconut products, contribute economic development and adaptation to climate change.
To develop rapidly and more efficiently Ben Tre’s coconut trees and industry, Deputy Prime Minister suggested the related departments and agencies of Ben Tre Province and other provinces planting coconut trees need to implement some specific tasks such as planning to plant coconut in the appropriate areas, taking interest in invest for researching and improving the quality of seeds, procession to develop coconut into high economic value tree; diversifing coconut products; applying science and technology to upgrade the processing plant towards modernization, developing handicraft villages from coconut associated with tourism; through Association of Coconuts to promote cooperation and exchange, study and experience share with other countries developing coconut industry to find markets and support the coconut planters. Deputy Prime Minister believe that with the efforts, Ben Tre will have many diversified coconut products with high economic value in the future.
In the framework of the opening ceremony, the organizing board of Ben Tre Coconut Festival 2015 awarded the medal for the sponsors. The delegates and Ben Tre’s people attending the opening ceremony also enjoyed excellent art program with traditional cultural identities of Ben Tre Province and Mekong Delta.