Lychee, longan and other farm produce going strong on digital platforms 

06:00 | 02/07/2021 Trade

(VEN) - In the context of Covid-19, the distribution of farming products on e-commerce platforms is considered an effective and sustainable solution to support farmers. The Ministry of Industry and Trade is working hard to help localities, especially those isolated due to the pandemic, to increase online sales of farm produce.

Growing presence on digital platforms

On June 6, all six major e-commerce platforms in Vietnam, including Sendo, Voso, Tiki, Shopee, Postmart, and Lazada, simultaneously offered Bac Giang Province’s high quality fresh lychees. This was the first time provincial lychees were distributed systematically on major e-commerce platforms, overcoming the disruption of traditional offline trade due to Covid-19.

lychee longan and other farm produce going strong on digital platforms
More and more farm produce is traded online

In late April, Ministry of Industry and Trade representatives worked with the Bac Giang Province Department of Industry and Trade to help the province sell lychees and other farm products due to the new outbreak of the pandemic. The ministry instructed relevant organizations to organize offline and online sales promotion conferences on Bac Giang lychee and other produce.

Following Directive 08/CT-BCT dated May 25, 2021 creating favorable conditions in circulation and increasing support for domestic consumption of local agricultural products amid the complicated development of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Vietnam e-Commerce and Digital Economy Agency (IDEA) under the Ministry of Industry and Trade was assigned to guide e-commerce platforms on helping sellers and traders participate in their platforms. They also supported and prioritized agriculture traders participating in the National Online Store, according to IDEA Director Dang Hoang Hai.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency (VIETRADE) signed a cooperation agreement with the Son La Province People’s Committee, and Shopee and Postmart e-commerce platforms to help Son La sell hundreds of thousands of tonnes of plums, longans and mangoes. On the first day of its offer on Shopee, almost one tonne of Son La plums were sold.

Thanh Ha lychees from the northern province of Hai Duong were officially on sale on one of Vietnam’s leading online marketplaces, Lazada, on May 14, according to VIETRADE. Its May 14 debut on Lazada Vietnam was supported by VIETRADE in partnership with the Hai Duong Departments of Agriculture and Rural Development and Industry and Trade, and the Red Dragon Co., Ltd. The lychees were supposed to be delivered to online shoppers in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City within four hours to ensure their freshness.

E-commerce platforms have directly purchased or distributed the products, and have been promoting them with images and livestreams from gardens. One e-commerce platform said it received orders for more than 30 tonnes of lychees via online channels within 12 hours of launching the offer.

VIETRADE Director General Vu Ba Phu said selling agricultural products on e-commerce sites is developing as a new and sustainable way of distributing local signature products. It will also facilitate digital transformation in domestic businesses and further popularize the Buy Vietnamese Goods campaign. VIETRADE has developed a traceability system to help businesses in quality control and tracking production, and provide consumers with product information.

Sustainable sales pursued

Sales of agricultural products through digital platforms have recorded initial success. However, challenges are ahead to ensure the sustainability of this trend. According to Tran Trung Kien, director of the Viettel Post E-commerce One Member Company Ltd that operates Voso, agricultural products are difficult to preserve with a short shelf life and daily price changes. The preservation and transportation of the products are also much more difficult than other items such as household appliances, dry goods or electronic equipment. In addition, most farmer households still work in a fragmented fashion rather than a large integrated scale, which means product quality is not uniform and packaging and preservation are poor.

lychee longan and other farm produce going strong on digital platforms

Sales of agricultural products on e-commerce platforms spread

According to a VIETRADE representative, cooperation between the government, businesses and the community is necessary to ease these problems. Producers need to improve production to meet the standards of export markets, study consumer tastes and diversify markets, especially in countries with which Vietnam has free trade agreements. They must also develop branding and take the initiative in joining production and distribution chains. VIETRADE has opened booths within the framework of the National Trade Promotion Program, providing guidelines for those who want to offer their products on digital platforms.

The Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency (VIETRADE) has been preparing for years to facilitate sales of agricultural products on e-commerce platforms. Their plans were accelerated by the spread and resurgence of Covid-19.

Viet Nga