|Farmers harvest pineapple in Hậu Giang Province. Farmers across the south and Central Highlands are struggling to sell their harvests. — VNA/VNS Photo Duy Khương
HCM CITY — Farmers across the south and Central Highlands are struggling to sell their harvests due to COVID-19 restrictions on travelling and business operations, leading to a massive pileup of agriculture goods.
Lê Văn Quyết, deputy chairman of the Southeastern Provinces Animal Husbandry Association, said chicken farmers are struggling to find buyers since many slaughterhouses are still closed due to COVID cases or lack of vaccinated staff.
They are incurring losses and have to reduce their chicken flocks by 40 per cent to cut costs, he said.
South-eastern provinces are seeing excessive supply, he said.
Bình Dương Province is also suffering from an excess supply of millions of poultry eggs, and farmers are struggling to sell their eggs also because many mooncake manufacturers are closed, according to its Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Trần Lâm Sinh, deputy director of the Đồng Nai Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the province has a surplus of thousands of pigs, 200,000 white chickens and large quantities of fruits, vegetables and seafood.
Many dragon fruit farmers in Bình Thuận Province have had to throw away their harvests since they cannot sell them.
Central Highlands provinces are also facing similar problems. Đoàn Ngọc Có, deputy director of the Gia Lai Province Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said farmers are still struggling to sell their vegetables though prices are falling and the province is making efforts to network farmers and businesses.
Social distancing orders in HCM City and other southern provinces, which restrict travel and businesses’ ability to operate, are disrupting distribution channels and preventing slaughterhouses from opening, thus affecting demand for livestock, according to many provinces.
Local authorities need to consider reopening wholesale markets soon or set up large trans-shipment areas to facilitate goods delivery from other farming areas, according to the Đồng Nai Province's Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Deputy Prime Minister Lê Văn Thành said provinces need to be more flexible with their pandemic preventive measures to allow smoother transportation of agricultural products, adding some have been too rigid.
Hóc Môn Wholesale Market in the city also plans to set up a trans-shipment area on its premises soon to get agricultural produce deliveries from other provinces.
Similar areas have been set up at the city’s other two wholesale markets, Bình Điền and Thủ Đức.
A recent online networking forum for farmers and businesses in HCM City and the Mekong Delta has helped provinces connect with large retailers of agricultural produce, such as MM Mega Market and Gigamall. — VNS