Stepping up promotion of agricultural products    
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Stepping up promotion of agricultural products The Luc Ngan - Bac Giang Lychee Week in Hanoi in 2017, one of trade promotion activities to boost the consumption of lychees (photo: enternews)
May 08 2018

Trade promotion to connect the supply and consumption of agricultural products is among the important trade activities that have received great attention from the authorised agencies, bringing about visible outcomes. The increasing consumption of lychees over the past few years is a typical example of the success in promoting agricultural products.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) has recently coordinated with the five Northern provinces of Lang Son, Bac Giang, Hai Duong, Son La, and Hung Yen to organise a conference to promote the sale of longans and lychees in the Northern provinces from this year's crops.

According to Director of the MARD’s Department of Cultivation Nguyen Hong Son, lychees and longans are major fruits in the Northern provinces of Vietnam with a total area of 98,300 ha, accounting for 27% of the total area of fruit trees in the Northern provinces. 
Of which, there are 58,800ha of lychees and 39,500ha of longans.

In recent years, Vietnam has produced roughly 300,000 - 350,000 tonnes of lychees per year, becoming the world's third largest lychee producer after China and India. The yield of longans was also reported at 500,000 - 550,000 tonnes per year. Due to favourable weather, longan and lychee trees are growing well with the rate of flowering and matured fruit estimated at over 90% this year.

Vice Chairman of Hai Duong provincial People's Committee Nguyen Anh Cuong said that Hai Duong has approximately 10,500ha of lychees, including 131.68ha that are eligible for growing lychees for export to the US, the EU and Australia. Thanks to its favourable climate, Hai Duong is expected to harvest 55,000 - 60,000 tonnes of lychees this year, a twofold increase compared to 2017, which is also the highest output over the past ten years.

Meanwhile, backward preservation and processing technologies and a short period of preserving fresh lychees have caused difficulties for the transportation and consumption of the fruit.

According to Vice Chairwoman of Bac Giang provincial People's Committee Nguyen Thi Thu Ha, lychees of the main crop in Bac Giang will be picked from June 15 to July 25, forecast to be a bumper crop of lychees, creating pressure for the province to boost the consumption of this fruit.

Ha noted that Bac Giang also pays much attention to the new policy of China on the import of fruits, thus asking the MARD to promptly provide specific guidance for Bac Giang lychee growers. She noted that Bac Giang is seeking large enterprises to sign consumption deals with the local lychee growers.

Meanwhile, a representative from Lang Son border province said that the province has invested in building warehouses, a rail route and upgrading roads to the 12 border gates with China in order to facilitate the export of fruit to China. In addition, the province is working to open several border gates specialising in exports and extend the clearance time up to 9pm to avoid the congestion of export fruits at border gates. The Lang Son administration is also negotiating with the Chinese side to conduct customs clearance on days off.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong, who chaired the promotion conference, affirmed that the MARD will create favourable conditions for the Northern provinces to sell their agricultural products in Hanoi, while telling these provinces to pay heed to the southern market.

Concerning the Chinese market, Cuong noted that the aim of exporting fruit to this market is to create high values for local farmers, emphasising that a bumper crop of fruits should not lead to a decline in the prices of agricultural products.

To reduce the pressure on consumption of fresh agricultural products, it is necessary to promote the processing of products and encourage enterprises to boost the processing of lychees and longans, Cuong noted. In addition, it is advisable to effectively use bonded warehouse to temporarily store fruit while preparing all of the necessary logistics services to promptly consume fruit.

Authorised agencies also need to create favourable conditions in terms of administrative reforms and transport to facilitate the consumption of lychees and longans.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) has also attached due attention to the promotion of agricultural products to connect supply and demand which has brought about positive results.

The consumption of lychees is one of the most successful examples of the promotion of agricultural products over the past few years. Before 2013, the sharp declines in the prices of lychees became an obsession with local farmers in Bac Giang and other lychee growing regions. The situation has changed over the past few years thanks to the strengthened promotion of lychees before and during the crops.

In 2017 alone, trade promotion made significant contributions to the consumption of lychees in Bac Giang, helping to consume 91,000 tonnes of lychees. In addition, the average selling prices of lychees hit a record high of VND38,000 per kg for domestic consumption and VND58,000 per kg for export.

Besides, the MoIT has successfully held trade promotion activities for thousands of other products. The statistics showed that the ministry organised 1,280 trade promotion programmes with a total cost of over VND170 billion (US$7.48 million) in 2017. In North Vietnam, local trade promotion centres conducted 315 trade promotion activities, accounting for 25% of the total trade promotion activities nationwide and assisted more than 5,100 local enterprises in taking part in such activities. Trade promotion activities have not only contributed to boosting the consumption of lychees but have also enhanced the quality of agricultural products.

Thanks to the activities to connect supply and demand, farmers, enterprises and consumers have a better understanding about each other's demand towards on-demand production instead of unplanned production.

In 2018, the MoIT will focus on the implementation of 71 projects and tasks to develop the domestic market aligned with the implementation of the 'Vietnamese people priorities using Vietnamese goods' campaign.

According to the MoIT, Vietnamese fruit exported to China should notice that China will increase their tracing of the origin of Vietnamese fruit. Since April 1 this year, Chinese enterprises importing Vietnamese fruit via border gates in Guangxi province must provide packaging images containing traceability and quality information of products when they follow the procedures for getting imported animal and plant quarantine permits at Guangxi’s import quarantine management agency. - NDO