The project is especially relevant with the onset of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), which was approved by Vietnam’s National Assembly on June 8, and is expected to take effect next month.
In addition to eliminating tariffs and lowering trade barriers between Vietnam and the EU, the fresh deal is expected to bolster quality standards across all product categories and will further incentivize exports in an already thriving farming and agricultural industry.
“Vietnam’s pepper exports continue to play a huge role in the country’s agricultural industry. Increasingly, we will find that the only way to retain our position as the world’s leading pepper exporter will be to maintain the high quality of produce and comply with new standards set by the EVFTA,” said Weraphon Charoenpanit, country commercial lead of crop science division, Bayer Vietnam.
“In this context, Bayer aims to use our black pepper solutions to help Vietnam’s pepper gain a competitive edge in the EU market. By continuing to deliver quality-enhancing technical and scientific solutions, Bayer remains fully dedicated to advancing black pepper cultivation, as well as contributing to sustainable development across the wider agricultural landscape,” Charoenpanit noted.
|Bui Van Kip, senior advisor at Bayer, providing farmers with advanced knowledge of agronomy, cultivation techniques, and integrated pest management solutions |
Aligning with Bayer’s wider commitment towards developing sustainable agriculture in Vietnam, Bayer empowers farmers with the tools they need to grow their crops in the context of many challenges.
Bayer’s Much More Black Pepper is a comprehensive package of solutions that helps Vietnamese farmers to employ innovative technologies in cultivation and optimally manage crops without leaving them vulnerable to additional threats such as weeds, insects, or disease.
By continuing to elevate product quality standards through innovative solutions and educational initiatives, Bayer is making efforts to prepare the industry for positive change as the EVFTA takes effect. At a recent event held in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau that engaged over 230 participants from the farming industry, Bayer Vietnam shared experiences related to pest management on black pepper that applied the Much More solution.
A nation primed for black pepper cultivation
In respect to the region’s tropical monsoon climate and conditions that comprise of heavy rain, high humidity, and less variance in temperature, Vietnam’s agricultural land is well-suited to black pepper cultivation. Vietnam has held the number one position in pepper exports for over 18 years, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, delivering over $1 billion in export value annually between 2014 and 2017.
However, the industry has also faced its share of difficulties. With pepper cultivation land growing from 50,000 to 150,000 hectares in recent years, internal supply has significantly exceeded demand, causing the price to decline sharply by 37.2 per cent between 2017 to 2018. In addition, with sizable focus placed on developing areas and low investment in quality, much of the local pepper produce did not meet export standards to the EU and other key markets, contributing to price deflation.
Bayer supports farmers with quality pepper cultivation models
As part of its commitment to deliver better agricultural solutions, Bayer continues to help farmers embrace technologically advanced approaches to agriculture for improved productivity, healthy harvests, and increased livelihoods. With Much More Black Pepper, Bayer provides Vietnamese farmers with advanced knowledge of agronomy, cultivation techniques, and integrated pest management solutions.
|With Much More Black Pepper, Bayer provides Vietnamese farmers with advanced knowledge of agronomy, cultivation techniques, and integrated pest management solutions. |
By recommending favourable cultivation methods and elective usage of certain pesticides and fungicides, Bayer and other key stakeholders are helping to ensure farmers are making the most of their produce and creating the best conditions for export success.
Bayer is a strategic partner of Lam San Co-operative in the framework of the national fresh pepper production project of the southern province of Dong Nai in which Lam San Co-operative leads. Accordingly, Bayer supports farmers with input materials and integrated pest management solutions, while Lam San Co-operative helps to ensure output.
With Much More Black Pepper, Bayer is helping farmers manage plant protection residue levels in accordance with maximum residue limit guidelines, making them safe and suitable for export to the EU market.
Nguyen Ngoc Luan, chairman of Lam San Co-operative said, “Having already seen impressive results coming from trials and models of innovative new black pepper solutions, we commend Bayer’s contribution to the industry, and will continue to ensure the extremely valuable benefits of these solutions are promoted and transferred to the agricultural community.”
|Nguyen Ngoc Luan, director of Lam San Agricultural Co-operative, shares opportunities in exporting and branding Vietnamese pepper |
According to farmer Ngo Huu Duc in the province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau, despite decreasing prices, they are continuing to maintain pepper crops and implementing the correct cultivation processes.
“At the beginning of the current rainy season, the application of necessary techniques helps prevent wilting diseases in pepper. By following Bayer’s Much More Black Pepper solutions, my pepper garden has been protected from common diseases,” Duc said happily.
In addition, Much More Black Pepper in combination with Bayer’s Drip Protection and Velum solutions form an integrated package that ensures water and crop protection products are distributed throughout fields via drip irrigation systems and delivered directly to the roots of the crop. These solutions help to properly irrigate crops, ensuring pesticide usage is regulated to meet export standards while saving manpower and costs.
The EVFTA paves the way for a wealth of cultivation opportunity
|Farmers in Chau Duc district, Ba Ria-Vung Tau province were interested in Bayer’s Much More Black Pepper Programme |
These advanced solutions will be particularly beneficial for farmers when the EVFTA comes into effect. The free trade agreement will serve to diversify export markets and solidify Vietnam’s competitive advantage in agricultural products. However, in order to optimise this opportunity, the industry will need to quickly navigate new regulations introduced by the FTA related to quality standards.
With the European Union playing a key role in the global trade of agricultural and food-related produce, the EVFTA has elevated the importance of leading the Vietnamese farming industry towards better pepper cultivation practices. Through pioneering initiatives and innovations like Bayer’s Much More Black Pepper, stakeholders are hoping the pepper industry can set standards for advancement across all agricultural sectors.
“In the long term, the quality of agricultural products is the decisive factor in markets. Therefore, Bayer is supporting Vietnamese farmers with integrated solutions that improve quality and ensure productivity, thereby increasing profitability and contributing to the sustainability of the country’s agriculture,” added Charoenpanit.
The EVFTA has shown a greater need than ever for the agriculture industry to come together to elevate farming practices that will spur commercial incentives as well as increase high-value proposition through knowledge sharing.
Bayer’s Much More Black Pepper solution can ensure enrichment of knowledge and dissemination of vital information across key stakeholders, that will help to ensure long-term, sustainable development of the black pepper industry in Vietnam.