|A farm co-operative representative introduces safe vegetable to visitors at the workshop in Hà Nội yesterday. - VNS Photo Khánh Vân |
Hà Nội has successfully built sepcialised agricultural production areas such as high-quality rice and safe vegetable and fruit growing in the districts of Mỹ Đức, Ứng Hòa, Đông Anh and Thanh Trì and also poultry product production areas in Chương Mỹ, Thanh Oai and Mê Linh Districts.
The city has 1,868 farms and formed 907 farm co-operatives.
The average annual output of rice reaches more than 1,000 tonnes, vegetables (702,000 tonnes), pork meat (321,000 tonnes), poultry (92,100 tonnes) and seafood (97,700 tonnes).
But the city’s farm produce still fails to meet full demand of local consumers.
Hà Nội has a large consumption network with 128 supermarkets, 453 markets, more than 600 convenient stores and hundreds of collective kitchens at schools, hospitals and agencies, but farmers still have trouble dealing with demand, according to participants at the workshop.
A representative from Kim An Farm Co-operative in Quốc Oai District said local farmers produced a huge amount of agricultural products but consumption network was limited, leading to price drop.
“A farmer will have to sell fruits like orange for traders at a low price in case of abundant crop. As they do not have adequate preservation equipment and facilities which would allow such products to keep long so they often have no choice but to sell at a lower price,” he said.
Some participants pointed to challenges that affected consumption of farm produce such as small-scale and scattered agricultural production, leading to low-quality products or low output, and farmers’ lack of knowledge and information on market, information and technology application and food hygiene and safety violations.
Linkage – key solution
To help boost consumption for farm produce, increasing connections among producers and distributors was considered one of a number of key solutions, according to deputy director of the Hà Nội Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Tạ Văn Tường.
The city has built 65 safe agricultural production chains and held many activities to help promote farmers’ products to consumers through trade fairs, workshops and promotional activities both inside and outside the country.
This is the third time Hà Nội held this kind of workshop on agricultural production supply and demand linkage to help businesses, farmers and farm co-operatives have chances to meet, share information and seek co-operation.
“Linkage between farmers and businesses will help both producers and distributors to be more active in production and consumption, thus helping to reduce loss and prevent situations of big drop in prices due to abundant supply,” he said.
Lê Đức Sơn, vice chairman of Hòa Bình Farm Co-operative which specialises in producing safe vegetables, said this was the third time he joined the workshop and found it very effective in introducing the co-operative’s products to distributors and consumers.
“At previous workshops, I established partnership with some distributors of safe food products and I expect to find more partners at this workshop to bring our safe vegetables to more customers,” he said.
A venue was organised as part of the workshop to help farmers showcase high-quality products to businesses and consumers. All of the products are certified to meet VietGAP or GlobalGAP standards - good agricultural practices to produce clean and safe farm products, according to Tường.
Hà Nội authorities have also actively taken measures to help develop an agricultural production chain to promote sustainable development for the sector.
“We have guided and encouraged farmers to join production chains to ensure product availability, increase sales, prevent price slumps and promote safe agricultural production” said Tường.
“It is time for farmers to change their mindset and habit in agricultural traditional production methods. If not, they will fail.
“Now they need to grow products of consumers’ demand, grow products that meet food safety and quality and have clear origin and need to link with businesses to ensure sustainable production and consumption,” he added.
“The department has also sent technicians to the fields to directly guide farmers on safe agricultural production to meet necessary requirements and organised workshops on food production chains, food safety and hygiene to raise awareness,” he said.
The city has formed 65 production chains for safe and clean agricultural products.