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Growers seek more land, capital

Update: June, 27/2012 - 10:14

HCM CITY — Agricultural firms engaged in producing non-staple crops, like orchids, mushrooms and ornamental fish wanted more support in accessing land and capital, they told HCM City authorities last week.

They suggested that the city set up a land fund to support organisations and individuals that invest in research in this field, in accordance with the city's agricultural development programme.

Doan Minh Duc, director of the Kim Ngan Orchirds Joint Stock Company, said her company wanted to implement orchid development products but was finding it difficult to find enough land for production.

Duc said her company needed between 5-10ha of land for producing each kind of orchid to meet export demand.

Orchid supply from Thailand had been unstable recently, she said, noting that many foreign companies had placed stable orders with her company.

HCM City had favourable climate and soil conditions for orchid cultivation. Therefore, the city should make a zoning plan for orchid development to attract orchid production and export companies, she said.

Representatives of many firms said accessing capital was a big problem.

Hi-tech agricultural production required considerable capital, but they were unable to borrow funds in accordance with city's Decision 36 to support restructuring of the sector because they had no assets to mortgage, they said.

The Truong Xuan Biotechnology Joint Stock Company is implementing a project to plant mushrooms following good agricultural practices standards at the city's hi-tech agricultural park in Cu Chi District.

It wants to borrow capital from banks to invest methodically in its project and cut production costs, increase product quality and engage in large-scale commodity production.

However, Vo Ngoc Duy, chairman of the board of Truong Xuan Biotechnology Joint Stock Company, said it was really hard to access bank loans.

If a company wanted to borrow from banks, it must have property for collateral, Duy said. While banks said that collateral was not a deciding factor and that priority was given to feasible projects, the reality was different, he added.

Many firms suggested that the city should have a fund for hi-tech agricultural development, similar to the one it had for co-operatives (CCM) in the city.

But they said loans provided from the CCM were small and insufficient to start large-scale agricultural production.

Ornamental fish

Enterprises also called for the Government's support in building brands for agricultural products, including flowers, ornamental fish and mushrooms, as well as in other trade promotion activities so as to market their products more effectively in overseas markets.

They said the Government should reduce corporate income tax for agricultural co-operatives, small-scale enterprises and agricultural establishments in the first two to three years of operation.

They also wanted exemptions and/or cuts in import taxes for new seedlings and breeds.

Le Minh Tri, deputy chairman of the city People's Committee, said the city would strive to solve difficulties mentioned by the firms.

It would carry out zoning plans for some priortity sectors such as seedlings and breed production, he said.

He said the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development would be asked to estimate the capital needs of agricultural enterprises and co-operate with the State Bank of Viet Nam in solving the problem — VNS

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