According to Dao Van Ho, Director of the Trade Promotion Centre for Agriculture under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the supply of safe farm produce remains too weak to meet demand.
He said that there are around 700 supply chains for safe farm produce including vegetables, fruits, tea, pork, egg, rice and seafood products in 50 provinces and cities.
Still, demand for safe farm produce is much higher, Ho said. The supply of safe farm produce is not diverse enough and lacks adequate stores for consumers to visit.
This is a part of the reason why many agricultural products struggled in sales and faced strong drops in prices, as in the recent cases of banana in the southern province of Dong Nai, watermelon in central Quang Ngai Province and pork oversupply crisis.
“It is critical to promote the supply chain for farm produce in an effort to restructure the agricultural sector towards increasing added value and sustainable development,” Ho said.
From the viewpoint of a distribution company, Dao Ngoc Nam, chairman of An Viet Company said that many localities had quality farm produce but have not paid adequate attention to promotion and product design in order to attract buyers.
In addition, the lack of certificates made it difficult to get products on the shelves of supermarkets and restaurants, Nam said. He added that many farmers and producers were still not well aware of the importance of quality certificates.
Vu Thi Ha, Deputy Director of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of Hai Duong Province, said that policies to encourage safe agricultural production following standards like VietGap and Global Gap were needed, besides enhancing the linkage of trading enterprises with farmers and producers to establish supply chains.
Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Vu Van Tam said that two important aspects of establishing supply chains are ensuring product quality and promoting distribution networks.
Trading companies and retailers play a significant role in the supply chain of safe farm produce, according to Mamiya Chiyo, consultant to the Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA)-funded project of promoting safe vegetable production chains in the northern region.
She said at a conference yesterday that retailers are the bridges between supply and demand. They play an important role in supervising quality and quality to ensure that demand is met.
The five-year project which would be implemented until July 2021 would enhance the capacity of supervising and managing safe farming production, developing good models of safe farm produce following GAP standards and enhancing awareness about producing and using safe products.
Nguyen Huu Hung, head of Yen Phu Co-operative, said that before cooperating with VinEco, sales of its farm produce had been unstable.
VinEco helped Yen Phu maintain strong sales with stable prices.