|Vietnamese farmers, who suffered from the trickeries by Chinese businessmen, have sworn that they would abstain from dealing with Chinese businessmen forever.
Chinese businessmen have been seeking to buy every kind of farm produce in Vietnam. At first, they come to collect products at high prices to encourage farmers to chop down existing plants to cultivate new plants. They promise to collect all the products from farmers the next time when they return. However, they never come back, leaving Vietnamese farmers with big unpaid debts and unsold farm produce.
Finally, Vietnamese farmers have learned a lesson after a lot of business deals with Chinese merchants.
"Don’t do business with Chinese"
On May 28, Tam Be in Tan Phuoc district of Tien Giang province decided to sell pineapple to a Vietnamese merchant at 2800 dong per kilo. When asked why he does not sell the pineapples to Chinese merchants who would pay higher, at 6000 dong per kilo, Be said that he does not intend to sell products to Chinese any more.
“They (Chinese merchants) have stopped collecting pineapples for one week. But if they return to continue purchasing pineapples, I would not sell to them. You would suffer loss if you deal with Chinese,” Be said.
Bui Cong Thanh, Chair of the pineapple cooperative in Tan Lap 2 commune said that some Vietnamese merchants came here some days ago to collect pineapples, which they said would provide to Chinese merchants. They promised to buy tens of thousands of tons a day and accepted to pay high prices. However, since they refused to sign a contract, farmers decided not to deal with them.
Meanwhile, a local resident related that a Chinese merchant came here with an interpreter, saying that Vietnamese pineapples are too small. He advised farmers to buy a kind of chemical to be provided by him which would allow to grow big pineapples. The man promised that he would collect all the pineapples which are cultivated with the chemical.
Thanh said that local farmers have become vigilant over Chinese businessmen. “We now only sell pineapples to loyal partners and we would refuse to sell to Chinese merchants, even though they pay high prices,” he said.
“You should keep your promises, or you will lose all the partners,” he explained.
Offering high prices and then… disappearing
In early May, a lot of Chinese businessmen flocked to the pineapple growing areas, where they set up storehouses to collect pineapples. All the pineapple sellers were received at the storehouses, no matter they came on daylight or at night.
At that time, when the market price stayed at 3000 dong per kilo, Chinese merchants accepted to pay 4400-6000 dong per kilo, depending on the size of the apples.
However, when reporters came to the places on the morning of May 28, no Chinese merchant was seen there, and no transaction was carried out. Local farmers said Chinese merchants “vanished into the air” five days ago.
“Many days ago, I sold out all the pineapples I brought to them (Chinese merchants) and I got payment immediately. However, when I brought the second consignment of pineapples, they made a gesture with the hand to say “no.” As a result, I had to bring the products back to retail at a loss,” a farmer said.
Lobsters, durian, sweet potato, pineapples, and what is next?
It seems that pineapple farmers are luckier than sweet potato farmers, because they still could sell pineapples at markets. Meanwhile, sweet potato merchants have been weeping because they still have not got payment.
D, a sweet potato supplier to Chinese merchants in Binh Tan district said that he needs to take back one billion dong from Chinese merchants. However, this proves to be an impossible mission, because he dealt with the merchants mostly through phones without any contracts.
It is estimated that the Chinese merchants have owed 10 billion dong to Vietnamese farmers, which prove to be irrecoverable debts.