Vietnam needs organic fertilizers for clean agriculture

09:01 | 12/04/2018 Society

(VEN) - Vietnam’s agricultural production faces a serious imbalance in the use of organic and inorganic fertilizers, resulting in a negative impact on the environment and quality of agricultural products. Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong spoke in an interview with Vietnam Economic News’ Nguyen Hanh about the urgent need to develop organic fertilizers.

vietnam needs organic fertilizers for clean agriculture
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong

What is the role of organic fertilizers in clean agriculture?

In the restructuring program, the agricultural sector is striving to produce clean and high-quality products and accelerate integration into the global distribution chain of agricultural products. Organic fertilizers have proven highly effective in achieving clean and high-quality agricultural products.

In addition to releasing vital nutrients as they break down, organic fertilizers improve the makeup of the soil and increase its ability to hold water and nutrients. Over time, organic fertilizers make soil and plants healthier and stronger.

How do you assess the demand for organic fertilizers?

The demand from the domestic market alone is very high. Suppose that one hectare needs 10 tonnes of organic fertilizers, Vietnam will need 200 million tonnes. Right now, organic agricultural production using organic fertilizers only covers an estimated 43,000 hectares of land in Vietnam.

The agricultural waste and by-products, which could reach up to 60-70 million tonnes a year, along with about 20 million tonnes of aquatic waste, could yield a significant supply of materials to make organic fertilizers.

Vietnam has favorable conditions to produce organic fertilizers and farmers are being urged to use organic fertilizers to ease the imbalance in cultivation and create clean agriculture.

Vietnamese farmers prefer inorganic fertilizers due to their quicker results. How can Vietnam counteract this trend?

Changing these habits requires a concerted effort by state management agencies, businesses, farmers and consumers.

The government issued Decree 108/2017/ND-CP on fertilizer management to encourage legitimate producers and eradicate fake products. This legal framework will facilitate the development of organic fertilizers.

In addition, many large businesses are already producing organic fertilizers. They have conducted research, organized production and promoted links with farmers to strengthen the use of organic fertilizers in agricultural production.

A government report found that by the end of December 2017, the volume of domestic and imported inorganic fertilizers was 19 times higher than organic fertilizers (713 organic products and 13,423 inorganic). There are 180 organic fertilizer-manufacturing enterprises in Vietnam, accounting for 24.5 percent of total 735 licensed fertilizer manufacturers, which have the capacity of 20,000-500,000 tonnes annually.

Nguyen Hanh