11:16 | 10/10/2018 Society
(VEN) - Vietnam is one of 170 countries producing organic agricultural products. Organic and green agriculture has become a trend worldwide.
Vietnam has adopted many policies promoting organic agriculture development. This year, the government issued Decree 109/2018/ND-CP providing preferential terms for small enterprises, cooperatives, farms and farmer households engaged in organic agriculture. According to the decree, the government will fund all organic product certification costs and cost of verifying areas eligible for organic production. Farmers and cooperatives can also enjoy the government’s agricultural promotion assistance in organic production training.
Speaking last month at the International Forum on Vietnam Organic Agriculture Development and Integration, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong said that Vietnam holds great potential in organic farming development, adding that many enterprises have invested in safe and clean farming production methods and in agricultural ecosystem development in recent years.
However, the development of organic agriculture faces multiple challenges. Most of the farmers have yet to switch to organic farming due to high costs, strict requirements and unstable markets.
In addition, few businesses hold international organic certificates, raising doubts over the authenticity of their organic products.
The main challenge in organic farming production is the lack of regulations and criteria on manufacturing and certification.
Decree 109/2018/ND-CP, which takes effect on October 15, includes a chapter to regulate the certification of organic agriculture products, labels, logos, origin traceability, business operations and inspection, among other things.
Consistent management needed
Organic produce is grown on more than 76,600 hectares in 33 of 63 provinces and cities nationwide. About 60 groups, corporations and production establishments have invested in organic agriculture in Vietnam. Transition from traditional to organic farming requires adherence to strict standards, international cooperation and consistent involvement of the government and farmers.
DSc Ha Phuc Mich, Chairman of the Vietnam Organic Agriculture Association said organic product producers should develop specific market orientations, which will encourage them to join production and distribution chains. Organic product certification agencies need to improve their knowledge and performance to ensue certification quality, while distributors need to know the products they distribute, and consumers should study carefully products they buy, he said.
Organic market revenue in Vietnam is estimated at VND3 trillion a year, with spending for such products in the north higher than that in the south. Given the development of a robust middle class in Vietnam, demand for organic produce is increasing and can be found in supermarkets like Co.opmart and Lotte Mart, shops, websites and on Facebook. However, most organic products are imported while most local growers focus organic production on spices.
Organic agriculture has become a trend worldwide. There are 43 million hectares of organic agriculture all over the
world, yielding about US$80 billion per year.