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French project helps Viet Nam develop regional food brands

Update: November, 12/2015 - 09:43
Farmers bag cashew nuts on a farm in Binh Phuoc Province. France will help Viet Nam develop brands for farm produce from different regions, spefically this southern locality. — Photo
HA NOI  (VNS) — A French-financed project to develop brands for Viet Nam's farm produce from different regions, worth nearly US$1.3 million, kicked off in Ha Noi yesterday.

The Ministry of Science and Technology announced the start of the project, through which the French Agency for Development (AFD) will help Viet Nam improve registration and management systems that will indicate which geographic region the products are from.

The agency will provide policy advice with European experience, helping the country advance in regional and international integration.

The AFD will sponsor roughly $1.1 million, while Viet Nam will arrange the remaining part of the fund.

An alliance of Rural Development Centre (RUDEC), Research Centre for Development and Agricultural System (CASRAD), and Agricultural Research for Development (CIRAD) will be responsible for implementing the project.

Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Tran Viet Thanh said that the number of domestic products with protected geographical indication (PGI) in the domestic market remains small, resulting in a lack of consumer confidence.

With the French aid, Viet Nam is determined in making the PGI become an effective tool of commerce for agricultural development, especially food production, he added.

Locally, the project will provide technical assistance to intensify capacity of pepper producers in the central province of Quang Tri, and cashew nut manufacturers in the southern province of Binh Phuoc.

Thanh noted that local authorities, businesses and people should cooperate with project operators to assure the progress of the scheme.

Bruno Vindel, who is in charge of the project at the AFD, agreed that an effective PGI system requires support of the community and policies of the authorities.

Luu Duc Thanh, an official from the intellectual property department, said the science ministry will propose mechanism for co-ordianation among ministries and sectors to foster PGI development.

Viet Nam's farming, fishery and forestry product export values totaled about $24.6 billion in the first 10 months of 2015, a year-on-year reduction of 3.8 per cent, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. — VNS

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