Workers classify and pack flowers for exports. — VNA/VNS Photo
HÀ NỘI — A new phytosanitary measure for Việt Nam’s cut flowers exported to Australia was unveiled during a ceremony held on January 24.
The event was jointly organised by the Plant Protection Department (PPD) under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development together with the Embassy of Australia in Vietnam.
The PPD has reached an agreement with the Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources on the use of metsulfuron methyl instead of glyphosate, which has been banned in Việt Nam since June 2021 for the sake of people's health and the environment, for treatment of bulbs of cut chrysanthemum before exporting to Australia, starting March 1.
After the resumption of Việt Nam’s flower shipments to Australia, the sides will continue keeping watch on safety and effectiveness of metsulfuron methyl on the batches for the next six months, vice head of the PPD Nguyễn Thị Thu Hương said.
Cut flower exporters are asked to make thorough preparations in terms of technical and quality requirements by both countries, for the resumption of cut chrysanthemum shipments from March 1, thereby raising export revenues of the agricultural sector in particular and the country at large, she added.
Australia has been among important traditional markets of Vietnamese flowers for 23 years. Việt Nam ships nearly 30 million cuts of flowers and foliage to the Oceania nation each year, raking in US$5.2 million.
As Australia only allows the use of glyphosate solutions for treatment of imported cut flowers, the PPD and the Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources had worked with Vietnamese producers to carry out various experiments in an effort to find suitable alternatives.
After months of negotiations, the Australian Department has allowed Việt Nam to be the first nation to use metsulfuron methyl in place of glyphosate.
The PPD will continue working with the Australian side to try on other alternatives to glyphosate on other flowers for export to the country, as well as promoting shipments of Việt Nam’s cut flowers and foliage to other markets. — VNS