HCM CITY — The Plant Protection sub-departments of HCM City and the provinces of Tien Giang, Long An and Tay Ninh yesterday signed agreements to promote production and consumption of safe fruits and vegetables.
The move aims to enhance the efficiency of State management in ensuring food safety of farm produce, from production to circulation, said Nguyen Van Duc Tien, head of the Plant Protection sub-department of HCM City.
Under the agreement, his sub-department will work with counterparts in the three provinces to instruct and support fruit and vegetable establishments to strictly follow requirements of the safe fruit and vegetable production chain.
The three provinces will closely monitor production and processing of fruits and vegetables at farms and processing facilities, and provide advice on how to use pesticides and fertilisers in a safe manner, Tien said.
They will conduct random checks to determine pesticide residues on fruits and vegetables before these are transported to the city and announce the results to the Plant Protection Sub-Department of HCM City and relevant agencies.
Meanwhile, HCM City will work with wholesale markets and supermarkets in the city to promote consumption of certified fruits and vegetable consignments produced by establishments in the three provinces.
At the signing ceremony, the Vissan Fruit and Vegetable Processing and Trading Enterprise signed contracts with three fruit and vegetable co-operatives in the provinces to ensure stable supply of safe fruit and vegetables at Vissan's outlets.
Three wholesale markets in HCM City - Hoc Mon, Binh Dien and Thu Duc - also signed contracts with 12 companies in the three provinces to promote production and consumption of safe fruits and vegetables.
Le Thanh Liem, director of the HCM City Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the city consumes about 1.2 million tonnes of fruits and vegetables a year. Currently, its own production meets only 30 per cent of the demand, he said.
Every night, staff from the city's Plant Protection sub-department check for fertiliser residues and other contamination of fruits and vegetables brought in from other parts of the country to wholesale markets in the city, Tien said.
Signing of the agreement with the three provinces will enable checks at the production stage and reduce pressure on the city, and facilitate foodstuff safety and hygiene, he added. — VNS