|Carrot farm in Duc Chinh village, Hai Duong province (Photo: Minh Long/VOV)
Vietnam's achievements in the agriculture sector last year were attributed to a joint effort by businesses, cooperatives, and policymakers to coordinate in production with processing in farming, husbandry, and aquaculture.
Despite technical barriers set by demanding markets in the US, Japan, and the EU, Vietnam earned a record US$40 billion from agro-forestry-fishery products last year, up 3.1%.
By boosting cooperation, more opportunities have been created for enterprises, farmers are encouraged to join cooperatives, and farm incomes boosted.
Nguyen Duc Menh, director of Tan Huong Farm Produce and Food Processor in Hai Duong province, said his company buys hundreds of thousands of tons of fruit and vegetables each year for export and domestic consumption. Many of its products are sold in Japan and the Republic of Korea.
Menh said, “We have been working with cooperatives to create a separate material zone. Early this year we signed a contract to send 500 tons of farm produce to Japan and more than 100 tons to the Republic of Korea. Food safety is essential for agricultural exports, especially to markets with strict quality requirements.”
Nguyen Quoc Toan, Acting Director of the Farm Produce Processing and Market Development Department, said with sufficient investment in agriculture, enterprises can earn higher profits.
He said it is important to build trust, create a transparent business environment, and remove hurdles in land clearance to strengthen agricultural restructuring.
16 large companies invested nearly US$370 million in the fruit processing sector last year. 17 processing plants with a total investment of US$430 million were either opened or begun.
Toan said, “Vietnam’s agricultural production should use value chains to meet international integration requirements. Vietnam also needs to improve processing quality and links between producers and processors. To increase export revenue, exporters need to keep up to date on regulations and technical barriers set by importing countries."
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong called on farmers to increase their links with processors and traders.
“We should promote value chain to establish concentrated material zones. Technology should be used to maximize productivity and minimize costs. Safe, qualified materials are the foundation of sustainable business for processing companies.
An appropriate production model should be developed based on value chains and market signals to avoid lingering low prices after a bumper crop”, said Mr Cuong.
Cuong said the sector has targeted 3% growth this year and will strive to earn US$43 billion in export revenue, hoping to become one of the world’s 15 countries and territories to have the most developed agricultural industry within a decade.