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Binh Duong farmers strive to reach supermarkets, improve lot
07 | 11 | 2007
Farmers in the southern province of Binh Duong are anxious to stake their claim in national supermarkets as more and more customers turn to large establishments for assurances of product quality and safety. However, the difficulties of entering the market as a small farmer remain.

"Binh Duong can provide fresh vegetables and fruit of good quality to all south eastern provinces," said Nguyen Thi Dien, the Director of Binh Duong’s Trade and Tourism Department at the forum "Supermarkets with farms". However, most farmers produce and sell raw products, while supermarkets demand processed ones. Moreover, supermarkets demand large, stable amounts of products, difficult for farmers to ensure being at the mercy of the weather.

"Farmers want their products in supermarkets, but they have to meet the standards of clean, registered quality," said director of Hai Long Trade-Service Company Huynh Thi Thanh Phuong.

Up until now, farmers have co-operated with brokers to sell their wares, with wholesale and retail dealers staying out of the process, so while farmers are beginning to see the opportunities of co-operating with such large scale businesses, they remain difficult to access.

The farm of Doan Minh Chien at Tan Uyen District is just one example of this. With an annual capacity of 50-200 tonnes of fruit, including mangoes, oranges and jack fruit, Chien has to sell his products out in free markets in the province and in HCM City.

"Problems occur because there is no relationship between producers, consumers and farms and supermarkets," said Chien. "The biggest challenge is to secure official contracts between farms and supermarkets. Without contracts, supermarkets will not buy products."

Supermarkets may buy farm products at high prices, but their demands are steep, many regional farmers have said, and farmers cannot enact the necessary changes by themselves.

Source: VNS
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