Việt Nam’s tea sector plans to produce 25,000 tonnes of tea using techniques to increase the quality and productivity of tea plants while protecting the health of farmers and land for future generations. — Photo phudatea.com.vn
HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam’s tea sector plans to produce 25,000 tonnes of tea using techniques to increase the quality and productivity of tea plants while protecting the health of farmers and land for future generations, the chairman of the Việt Nam Tea Association Nguyễn Hữu Tài said yesterday.
Speaking at a conference on sustainable tea development, Tài said this was the target of the project to increase the number of tea farming households participating in the sustainable and high-quality tea supply chain from last July to this December.
Under the project, more than 15 enterprises and 16,500 tea farming households will co-operate to produce 25,000 tonnes of tea, of which about 15,000 tonnes would be certified Rainforest Alliance – the seal awarded to farms, forests and businesses that meet environmental and social standards.
Tea enterprises and farming households will be given training on sustainable agriculture, such as effective and proper use and control of agricultural chemicals, improving the productivity of tea plants, building the position of Vietnamese tea products on the world market and improving the competitive capacity of Vietnamese enterprises.
The project will help set up agri-teams to provide knowledge on types of agricultural chemicals, usage methods and proper amounts in order tocurb pesticide residue in tea plants.
Currently, eight enterprises have joined the project.
The project was organised by the Netherlands’ IDH (Sustainable Trade Initiative), Unilever, and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Between November 2013 and December 2015 the project was implemented in the four northern provinces of Yên Bái, Phú Thọ, Tuyên Quang and Lai Châu. More than 2,280 farming households were given technical support on sustainable tea development.
Lê Quang Chuyền, deputy general directof of Mỹ Lâm Tea JSC in Tuyên Quang Province, said that the model helped improve farmers’ awareness in producing higher-quality tea, meeting EU’safety food criteria while ensuring the health of farmers and surrounding environment.
Trần Vũ Hoài, vice chairman of Việt Nam Unilever, said tea productivity has greatly increased after several years of implementing the model.
Previously, the corporation only purchased about 4,500 tonnes of tea in Việt Nam, but now has increased its purchases to 11,000 tonnes. It hopes to increase the amount to 20,000 tonnes in the coming few years.
Figures from the Việt Nam Tea Association show that there were about 133,400 hectares of tea cultivation areas in the country with a productivity of 1,025 tonnes. Last year, the country exported 134,000 tonnes, earning US$223 million.
The main export markets for Vietnamese tea are Pakistan, India, China, Indonesia and Malaysia. – VNS