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The urgent need to save agricultural products

The urgent need to save agricultural products

Thursday 06, 02 2020
Provinces and associations review industries, first of all, agricultural products exported to China.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, together with the Ministry of Industry and Trade and 9 provinces, seek solutions to cope with the situation that agricultural product exports are stalled due to nCoV.

On the afternoon of March 3, in Hanoi, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) Nguyen Xuan Cuong and Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh, chaired the conference themed "Promoting trade, developing agricultural production before the impact of corona virus disease".

Pause all negotiations

Attending were leaders of many ministries, branches, leaders of 6 border provinces bordering China, 3 provinces producing dragon fruits and large watermelons, including Binh Thuan, Long An, Tien Giang and associations of industries to discuss coping solutions.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Minister Nguyen Xuan Cuong emphasized that the disease caused by the corona virus (nCoV) is becoming an extremely dangerous disease with human life and the global economy. Year of the Rat 2020 is cold and rainy, suitable for virus development.

According to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, the agricultural sector will suffer the most. For example, dragon fruit and watermelon products. On the other hand, nCoV also hurt investment. "All the negotiations between the two sides have stopped, for example, durian products, sweet potatoes, oats, and jellies preparing to sign the protocol to be officially exported to China, but at the moment they don't know that," he said. "- Minister Nguyen Xuan Cuong said.

Reporting on the situation of agricultural trade before the impact of nCoV, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Tran Thanh Nam said with the complicated and unpredictable situation of the epidemic in recent days and the actions of the Central Government in restricting commodity trading to avoid a large number of people creating conditions for the disease to spread, it is predicted that the nCoV epidemic will have negative impacts on trade in agriculture, forestry and fishery of the two countries.

Specifically, agricultural exports are expected to face many challenges. For key fruit products, especially dragon fruits, watermelons account for a large proportion to serve the Chinese market during the peak Lunar New Year and Tet holidays. Through the review, from now until the end of the full moon in January, in Long An province, the harvest of dragon fruit is about 21,600 tons. The next batch will be from 8 to 28-2 with an estimated harvest of about 54,000 tons. In early March, Tien Giang harvested about 10,000 tons, Binh Thuan harvested about 100,000 tons ... But most of the exported products are fresh and unprocessed.

Although localities have guided and actively adjusted production plans, local congestion and oversupply will take place due to limited transactions at border market pairs in Quang Tay and Van Nam; this is due to the long Lunar New Year holiday as well as measures to ensure the prevention of nCoV epidemic being implemented from both sides.

For livestock products, especially Vietnamese dairy products that have been permitted to export officially to China from October 2019, there will be many difficulties when China's domestic and international trade are stalled due to the impact of the nCoV epidemic.

The urgent need to save agricultural products

According to the Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Quoc Khanh, the Chinese side will close the border market until February 9. The closure of the border market has interrupted the exchange of residents, which is an important form of exchange, especially for agricultural products of Vietnam.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade has directed overseas businesses to organize activities to find and connect with new customers to contribute to shifting exports to some new markets. In addition, a number of logistics enterprises (DN) are also proposed to assist in preserving agricultural products during the market search. Trade affiliates in Guangdong, Guangxi, and Yunnan have also been actively exchanging with border provinces to speed up the opening of border markets. "We have also mobilized some shippers to switch to official export to help accelerate consumption. However, the results are not much" - Mr. Khanh said.

Should stop delivering goods to Lang Son

Vice-Chairman of Lang Son Provincial People's Committee, Mr. Nguyen Cong Truong said that from the 1st of Lunar New Year, outbreaks of disease, China has closed 9 pairs of border markets from January 31 to February 8. "If the epidemic is still complicated, it will last for a long time, so exporting agricultural products to China is difficult, there are still 333 vehicles carrying agricultural products waiting for customs clearance, including 190 dragon fruit vehicles and weighing over 5,300 tons," - Mr. Truong said.

It is worth mentioning that, according to Vice Chairman of Lang Son Provincial People's Committee, dragon fruits from the South are still being brought up. "We recommend businesses and associations to limit the car to Lang Son at this time, find other consumption solutions in the country because there are also put up waiting, costly" - Mr. Truong said.

Leaders of Lang Son province also said that the provincial Department of Industry and Trade was assigned to information to localities across the country to limit bringing goods to the border gate during this period. It is expected that on the morning of February 4, Lang Son will hold a meeting to find ways to remove stagnant agricultural products at the border. "However, the Chinese side has not yet confirmed whether to open the markets on January 15, so businesses still need to be cautious" - Mr. Truong said.

Mr. Pham Van Canh, Vice Chairman of Long An Provincial People's Committee, said that the area of dragon fruit of Long An produces about 9,587 ha (out of 11,826 ha) with an output of 320,000 tons. From January to the end of February, about 30,000 tons remain - of which 20,000 tons are in stock and at the end of February harvest 28,000 tons. For a long time, purchasing the dragon fruits of Long An was mainly Chinese, the price was decided by them. While the contract with farmers is uncertain, there is often a risk due to selling through traders. The market is mainly sold to China with 75%, while 25% of Thailand, South Korea, Singapore, and Japan. "Long An asked the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to support the storage of hibernation, extend the storage and preservation time for dragon fruits, and at the same time expand the market to consume this item" - Mr. Canh suggested.

Concluding the conference, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong expressed his desire for people to accompany, share and respond both ahead and long term. In the coming time, people and businesses need to produce responsibly and find out many opportunities and solutions such as increasing storage in cold storage, increasing processing ... and considering it as a pressure to restructure and open the market.

Provinces and associations review industries, first of all, agricultural products exported to China. As in Long An, farmers should not stimulate off-season flowering. In addition, retail businesses like Hapro, Big C ... need to be active because the vulnerable dragon fruit product, which has not been able to cross the border, pays special attention to the domestic market. Particularly for the watermelon group, Minister Nguyen Xuan Cuong noted that farmers and localities limited to sowing and transferring to other crops such as soybean, corn, vegetables ...

"The most important thing is that localities have to encourage farmers to produce chain and link. As in Son La, many cooperatives have been established, so there is almost no rescue situation. If you do not follow the chain, do not restructure, even if you do not cry because of nCoV, you can also suffer from other diseases and fluctuations. In the immediate future, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development will discuss and find solutions with localities to solve difficulties for farmers "- Minister Nguyen Xuan Cuong said.

​>> Impact of novel coronavirus on Vietnam’s economy

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