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The Grand Plan for Vietnamese Produce
29 | 09 | 2007
The Ministry of Trade and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development recently assembled the draft of a national plan for Vietnamese fruit and vegetable production and export development, according to this plan, nine limited liability businesses will be growing and exporting a large amount of Vietnam’s produce.

Problems

The Ministry of Trade has said that there are now many fruit and vegetable production projects but none exists with widespread adoption of new farming techniques to increase harvests and improve quality to that required for exportation. Most people that are in the business of growing or selling fruits and vegetables do not use sufficient care in handling the produce (rough handling plus no refrigeration) and allow too much time to pass between harvest and final sale. 

Another problem is the pesticide and herbicide residue on the produce and the heavy metals that are in the produce. When checked, it's often found to exceed maximum levels allowed by any country. Vietnamese fruits and vegetables are exported in varying amounts according to the season and the weather and, due to variations in varieties, handling and shipment, quality varies greatly. Most fruit and vegetable exporting businesses are small, do not attempt to obtain up-to-date market information, and they use nothing like an international standard accounting system. They simply bring a load of produce to the border, hope the agreed buyer shows-up, and then sell to that buyer.

Organization regarding produce production and export is something that people in the offices play with but do not exist on the ground. Fruits and vegetables are grown in every province and city but concentrated farming areas generally do not exist. Farmers are independent and grow their products in the way they want and can afford. Farmers are restricted by very limited capital, information and experience and they often feel that they must adhere to the bonds of tradition. Scattered and small-scale production means varying amounts of produce available for both domestic consumption and export.

Hope lies with the limited  liability  businesses

The Government designated the Ministry of Trade and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to work diligently to draw-up the draft of a national plan for fruit and vegetable production and export development. If the plan was to be followed there would be sufficient high-quality, high-yield fruit and vegetables in all of Vietnam to satisfy the needs of the people and also export in such amounts as to earn US$1 billion in revenue by 2015, and, looking just a bit farther into the future, fruit and vegetable export growth would be 15-29 percent per year starting in the year 2016.

Under this plan, relevant authorities in each locality will choose potential, good businesses to implement a complete system of production and sales of fruit and vegetable. Accordingly, these businesses will sign a contract with farmer households to produce fruit and vegetable while giving farmers technical assistance and other kinds of assistance like seeds and capital to encourage farmers create products to export standards. There will be a steering committee that will be in charge of helping the businesses apply agricultural technology, learn about export markets, hire consultants, and more.

Under the plan, three farm businesses are to manage fruit and vegetable trade in the north, one in Lao Cai, one in Yen Bai and one in Vinh Phuc province, and a trade center is to be opened in Lao Cai province to sell the produce to China. At this center there is to be a modern warehouse to store produce that is on its way to China.

In the central region, there are to be three similar businesses with the center in Da Lat. The Vietnam-Singapore connection program is to be based at this center and fruits and vegetables shipped to Singapore will originate at this center.

In the south, three farm businesses and a trade center will be formed in Can Tho, Vinh Long and Binh Thuan provinces.

Bui Huu Dao, the deputy head of the Department of Planning and Investment of the Ministry of Trade, said that these projected businesses would contract with farmers in accordance with Decision 80, not be subsidized by the Government and would be the actual owners and sellers of the produce. By operating without the use of government funds, the companies will have to be profit-oriented. They will have an incentive to work well with the farmers and see to it that quality produce is grown and that it reaches the markets in good condition. The Ministry of Trade will help these companies find buyers for their produce. The aim of the plan is to create these nine businesses that will buy from the farmers and export Vietnamese produce.

When meeting with representatives of fruit and vegetable businesses in southern Vietnam, Deputy Minister of Trade Tran Duc Minh said that when these nine projected businesses are established, concentrated fruit and vegetable farming areas will increase and trade centers other than the three mentioned will be created. If this plan is successful it will be implemented in many other provinces and cities nationwide. It is said that the plan drawing board is now taking suggestions from organizations and individuals and it may make changes before a final draft is completed in May 2007. 



Viet Nam Economic News Online
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