09:27 | 15/03/2019 Economy- Society
(VEN) - Agricultural production in Vietnam remains small-scale and unfocused, leading to unstable quality and sales difficulties. Promoting value chain linkages is urgently necessary for the agricultural sector to resolve these problems.
Since the beginning of 2018, the sale of various kinds of farm produce, such as beet, kohlrabi, watermelon, shallot and sweet potato, has been difficult despite bumper crops. The same was true for thousands of hectares of carrots in Hai Duong Province in late January and early February 2019. Prices dropped more than 50 percent compared with previous years.
Spontaneous, unplanned farming has led to oversupply and price drops in times of bumper crops. Businesses hesitate to invest in farming because the effectiveness of investment depends heavily on weather conditions. Moreover, the range of key agricultural products remains poor. In many localities, farmers grow crops whenever they can but do not take into account the potential markets for their products.
Le Thi Mai Linh, executive vice president of public relations and corporate social responsibility at Central Group Vietnam, said the BigC supermarket chain is willing to help farmers and agricultural cooperatives sell their products. However, this is just a Band-Aid solution but it cannot help the agricultural sector deal with the root of the problem.
To prevent stagnant sale of agricultural products in 2019 and ensuing years, the agricultural sector needs to ensure product safety and origin traceability, while at the same time intensifying market development activities and promoting value chain linkages. Localities should make appropriate crop plans. The construction of new infrastructure facilities is also necessary to enhance the competitiveness of Vietnamese farm produce, helping promote sales and paving the way to agricultural value chains.
In the opinion of Dao The Anh, Deputy Director of the Field Crops Research Institute, farming households need an organization to represent them. This organization can be a cooperative, an association or a group of companies whose goal would be helping farmers ensure product quality and market linkages.
Huynh Van Thon, Chairman of the Board and General Director of the Loc Troi Group, believes only cooperation can help farming households export their products and join agricultural value chains.
Nguyen Ngoc Bao, President of the Vietnam Cooperative Alliance, said that in 2019, the alliance will provide guidance and training for its members in order to help them build and develop agricultural value chains.