A workshop was held in Ho Chi Minh City on November 2 to seek to increase the export of Vietnamese agri products
Deputy head of the Plant Protection Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Van Thiet said Vietnam exported over US$14.3 billion worth of agri-products in the first nine months of 2017, a year-on-year rise of 17.7%.
Despite high growth over the past five years, the sector is still meeting some difficulties and challenges, including global fiercer competition and stricter quarantine regulations of plants, food safety and quality.
Le Thi Thu Huong, a senior consultant from Fresh Studio company, said many countries tend to make use of technical measures to limit the imports of goods and protect domestic production, while others request pest risk analysis with complicated procedures and long duration.
For example, such major markets as the US, Japan and the Republic of Korea want to send their experts to inspect the growing areas, packaging facilities and phytosanitary.
Director of the Southern Pesticide Control Centre (SPCC) Tran Thanh Tung said Vietnamese farmers still apply old production customs and make unreasonable use of pesticides. Furthermore, they are unaware of the maximum residue level (MRL) regulated in different markets, resulting in violation of import regulations, causing economic losses and affecting national brand names.
Experts said quality is key to enhancing the export capacity for Vietnamese agri-products.
Thiet recommended selecting good varieties and developing post-harvest, preserving, and processing technologies to increase the values of farm produce while enhancing connectivity between farmers, scientists, businesses and State management agencies to develop large-scale production models and ensure the quality of agri-products in the long run.
He called on the State to support farmers and businesses to promote trade of farm produce and prevent trade fraud and unhealthy competition.
According to Huong, it is necessary to encourage farmers and businesses to develop the production chain to control the quality of agri-products effectively.
She urged relevant agencies to build a set of criteria on food safety and phytosanitary in addition to enhancing negotiations with exporters to have appropriate technical standards.