2m 52sLenght

In Vietnam, farm processing to obtain black pepper is mostly manual, with a few farmers using mechanical threshers to separate the berries from the stalk. After sun-drying, the pepper is winnowed to remove stalks, light berries and foreign matter, before selling to collectors, local traders and processors. Farmers sell their pepper, which usually requires further cleaning and drying, at collection centers or ex-farm. Processors prepare black pepper for export, with mechanized processing facilities, handling and packaging equipment and adequate storage facilities. Black pepper is cleaned and light berries are removed to meet specific standards. Some processors also undertake steam-treatment and market black pepper with low bacteria counts. Vietnam has become the world's largest producer and exporter of pepper. Although pepper has been grown in Vietnam for over 150 years, it is only from 1992/93 that it has played a significant role in the international market as producer and exporter. The unprecedented boom in prices during 1998, when the FOB price of black pepper exceeded US$4.00 per kg., motivated farmers in Vietnam to pay more attention to pepper cultivation. This dramatic increase has not only made Vietnam a major player in the pepper industry but has also impacted on world pepper supply and consequently, the price in international markets.