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Seminar promotes safer agri-food chain

Update: September, 07/2013 - 10:59
Hydroponic vegetable production in HCM City-based Agriculture Hi-tech Park. Application of VietGap standards in fruit and vegetable production has brought higher profits for farmers compared to normal production methods, experts have said. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoang Hai

HCM CITY (VNS)— Thirteen out of 14 pilot models for vegetable production nationwide have received VietGap certificates as part of the Food and Agricultural Products Quality Development and Control Project (FAPQDCP).

In addition, 11 pig farms and nine out of 14 pilot poultry farms were granted VietGAHP (Vietnamese Good Animal Husbandry Practices) certificates, said Nguyen Van Doang, the project coordinator.

The project, which runs from 2008 to 2014, is funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and implemented by the National Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Quality Assurance Department, local stakeholders and Montreal University.

It aims to improve quality, food safety and marketability of agricultural produce by strengthening application of good production and processing practices and supervision, and expand Good Agricultural Practices to more areas.

Begun in 2008, the project focuses on vegetables, fruits, pork and poultry, Doang told a workshop in HCM City Wednesday.

Apart from providing technical support, the project has helped producers and distributors with packaging, building brands, and marketing to ensure outlets for the vegetables.

Project officer Dinh Kim Dung said that in past years many activities were organised to raise consumption of VietGap products and link producers and distributors through traditional and modern trade channels, contributing to building a sustainable and effective supply chain.

Pham My Linh of the Fruit and Vegetable Research Institute said application of VietGap standards in fruit and vegetable production had brought higher profits for farmers compared to normal production methods.

Similarly, farmers also enjoyed higher profits when they applied Vietnamese Good Animal Husbandry Practices standards in pig and poultry breeding, she added.

In HCM City, the Phuoc An Co-operative and Tan Trung Joint Group have been chosen to apply VietGap and Good Manufacturing Practices in their vegetable value chain.

All vegetables grown under the pilot project have met GAP requirements.

No crop protection residues have been found in vegetable samples, according to the city Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Profits have been increased significantly since participants have joined the project, it said.

Delegates also discussed measures to maintain and expand the application of VietGap standards in production.

Jim Lee, a Canadian technical specialist, suggested that small farmers form large-size farming to facilitate the application of Vietgap.

The city's Department of Agriculture and Rural Development also said that training on VietGap standards and Good Manufacturing Practices for farmers should be continued.

Activities promoting consumption of Gap-certified products should also be enhanced, it said. — VNS


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