|A farmer cultivates fruits following the Vietnamese Good Agricultural Practices (VietGAP) in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong. Applying the standards is easy for farmers now thanks to new guidelines. — VNA/VNS Photo Phuong Vy
HA NOI (VNS) — Vietnamese producers can now easily apply VietGAP food safety standards on their products, thanks to new guidelines.
VietGAP, a certificate that imposes strict regulations on the quality of agricultural products, is part of a project that is being jointly implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Canadian International Development Agency.
The total project, started in 2008, has an investment of CAD17 million (US$16 million).
Nguyen Van Doang, coordinator of the project, told a conference on Wednesday that the guidelines for applying VietGAP standards have been completed and include all steps involved in the processing, packing and trading of vegetables, fruit, pork and chicken.
Based on these guidelines, as many as 15 pilot models of vegetable and fruit production, 11 pig farms, 11 chicken farms and six slaughter houses in seven cities and provinces have been certified as VietGAP.
The project has helped farmers build a trademark, logo and sale areas for these products.
The initial feedback from six supermarkets of Saigon Co-opmart show that consumers have accepted VietGAP vegetables, which are priced 2.1 per cent higher than other vegetables.
As many as 11 out of 15 models of vegetable and fruit production and three models of chicken farms had contracts to supply goods to the supermarkets.
The project is currently helping to develop a supply chain of hygienic products in 33 cities and provinces for both domestic consumption and export, he said.
Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Thi Xuan Thu said that many farmers have used the guidelines as a handbook for producing safe and hygienic agricultural products and foodstuff.
She said that thanks to the guidelines, the ministry has begun a programme for developing safe food chains, which will be implemented nationwide after it receives official approval. The programme will change farmers' outlook on agricultural production and will benefit both farmers and consumers. — VNS