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Vietnam’s agriculture sector prepares for competition

by VTV424 October 2015 Last updated at 09:12 AM

VTV.vn - Quality controls and competitiveness have always been a weak-point for Vietnam’s agriculture sector.

Vietnam will face increasingly difficult situation following the adoption of a raft of new free trade agreements, meaning domestic producers will have to ready themselves for more competition. This issue was the main focus of the 5th Development Agriculture Development Programme that began on Friday in Ho Chi Minh City.

Vietnam currently has trade ties with more than 160 countries and territories around the world. As a leading exporter of many agricultural commodities, Vietnam’s export market has been expanding rapidly; however, quality and competitiveness remains an issue.

Assoc. Prof.,Dr. Mai Thanh Phung, National Agricultural Extension Centre said: We are well capable of producing a lot of produce, but quality remains an issue. For example, our rice exports only secure market share in cheap markets.

Most of the agricultural exports in the Mekong Delta, even key products such as catfish, shrimp, and fruits, are exported in raw form. Technical barriers remain the biggest issues in raising the quality of Vietnam’s agricultural exports.

Nguyen Van Dung, Representative, Business Association of Overseas Vietnamese, US Branch said: The US, as well as many countries, is open to importing our products. However, we’ve yet to meet their quality requirements. This is really worrying!

One of the solutions to improve the competitiveness of Vietnam’s agricultural products is to strengthen the connection between farmers, scientists, businesses and the government to create a value chain capable of producing competitive exports. However, little effort has been given to improving such links, especially between farmers and the businesses.

Nguyen Van Luy, Farmer, Thoi Lai District, Can Tho City added: We have a stronger connection with the government and the scientists. However, the businesses doesn’t seem to be interested in working with us farmers

Dr. Nguyen Duy Luong, Vice-chairman, Vietnam Farmer’s Union said: The party and the government should have certain mechanisms and policies to support ties between farmers and businesses.

It is expected that when all the free trade agreements that Vietnam signed officially come into effect, Vietnam’s agricultural products will be subjected to intense competition with imports from other countries. If production isn’t reorganised and quality improvements are not made in time, Vietnamese domestic produce may lose out on market share at home.

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