In Vietnam, pepper is mainly planted in Gia Lai, Dak Lak, Dak Nong, Binh Phuoc, Dong Nai and Ba Ria–Vung Tau Provinces.  Total pepper cultivated area is about 51,000 hectares with production of 160,000 tons in 2016.  

 In recent years, Vietnam’s pepper production has made up more 50% of pepper-market in the world.  It is mainly exported to the United State America, Germany, and Netherlands with 24%, 10%, and 4%, respectively. Exported pepper must agree to international standards such as physical, chemical, and microbiological standards.  For chemical standards, moisture content of pepper after processing must be not higher than 12.5%.  To reduce moisture content from 65% (after harvesting) to 12.5%, pepper may be sun dried or mechanical dried.       

In 2000, a reversible air flatbed dryer (SRA) was designed by Nong Lam University – Ho Chi Minh City.  It has been continuosly improved and modified by Center for Agricultural Energy and Machinery to apply for various agricultural products and other materials for animal food such as paddy seed, corn, coffee, shrimp head, fish, waste octopus... A salient feature of this dryer is to apply for drying pepper to maintain quality of pepper for export and domestic use.  In previous years, harvesting time has been in dry season with good sunshine for drying pepper right after harvesting.  It takes about three or four days for sun drying a batch.  Nowadays, however, weather is usually irregular due to the effect of climate change.  Unpredictable rain caused price of pepper decreased from VND150,000/kg to VND130,000/kg because pepper was not dried timely. 

Since 2012, Center for Agricultural Energy and Machinery has installed more than 30 units with capacity of  0.5 ton/batch, 1 ton/batch, and 2 ton/batch for farmers in Dak Nong, Dong Nai, Ba Ria – Vung Tau, and Dak Lak Provinces.  Especially, this type of dryer was installed in Cambodia with capacity of 5 ton/batch. According to the owner of a 2 ton/batch pepper dryer, he has used it to dry about 50 tons of wet pepper, equivalent to 20 tons of dried pepper in two years.  He said pepper dried mechanically was maintained quality for export standard.  In addition, required area of yard for drying one ton of pepper is about 300 square meters, while needed area for installing a dryer (2 ton/batch) is only about 20 square meters.   It is showed that application of the dryer helped farmers saving area for drying their pepper product.   


Pepper dryer – SRA (5 tons/batch)


Applied results of this dryer in actual production condition showed that drying time for a batch was from 12 to 15 hours with average drying temperature of 70 0C and moisture content of pepper decreased from 63.1% to 13.2%.  With advantage of reversible drying air feature, pepper was dried uniformly without mixing pepper during drying process.  With investment cost of  VND70 million for a 2 ton/batch pepper dryer (2017), drying cost is about VND1,500/kg using biomass fuel (wood chips or rice husk briquettes).  The drying cost was computed including depreciation, firing fuel, power consumption, and labour cost.


Based on applied results, the reversible air flatbed dryer helped farmers to maintain quality of pepper for export.  Thus, pepper farmers have initiative in drying their product without depending on the weather. With unpredictable weather, at present, investment on this dryer is becoming more necessary and brings more income for pepper farmers.

                                                                                                      MSc. Tran Van Tuan and Dr. Nguyen Thanh Nghi 

                                                              Center for Agricultural Energy and Machinery, Nong Lam University – Ho Chi Minh City 



Page count : :461
Created : 27-04-2017
Last modify :22-09-2017

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