VN needs radical solutions to protect value of agricultural products, “rescues” don’t help

February 22, 2023 - 17:52
The agriculture production must be based on the market demand and the market requirements to prevent oversupply.


A point selling eggs at low prices on a street in Hà Nội. Arbitrary calls for rescue of agricultural products should be stopped. — Photo

HÀ NỘI — Việt Nam needs to raise radical solutions to build an agricultural production industry based on the market demand together with promoting markets and protecting value for farm produces, critical to prevent arbitrary abuse of “rescues” which don’t really help but even cause damage to the agriculture, experts said.

In recent days, were several places on the streets of Hà Nội selling chicken eggs at trucks with the banner “Rescue eggs” at low price of only VNĐ65,000 (US$2.8) for 30 eggs.

Yến Thanh, a consumer, said that she was hesitant about the origin and quality of the eggs sold on ar trucks on the street. However, she said that if the eggs were of farmers who were struggling to find a market and of good quality, she was willing to buy as a support to them.

Sellers said that the eggs came from Liên Châu Commune, Thanh Oai District, Hà Nội while some from Thái Nguyên, Hà Nam and Thanh Hoá Province.

However, Bùi Văn Sáng, Chairman of Thanh Oai District People’s Committee, said to Tin Tức newspaper that the information about rescuing eggs for farmers in Liên Châu Commune was not true, adding that the local authority had not received any calls for supports in selling eggs from farmers.

Nguyễn Thanh Sơn, President of the Việt Nam Poultry Association, said that sale of eggs at low prices with banners calling for rescue was “just a trick” of small traders which was decreasing the value of Vietnamese agricultural products.

The egg prices in the market were around VNĐ200-300 lower than before Tết (Lunar New Year) holidays and consumption slightly decreased but this was a normal thing which occurred every year seasonally and had not caused any significant problems to farmers and enterprises,  Sơn said. He said that egg prices would come back to the normal level of around VNĐ3,000 in the coming month.

In the face of an increase in the number of egg rescue points, Sơn said that management authorities should inspect the origin of eggs and check whether the quality of eggs met the standards or not.

He also urged consumers not to buy eggs on the sidewalk because of unknown origin and preservation time. At normal temperature, eggs are of the best quality in 7-10 days, but the quality gradually decreased after that.

No more rescues

Calling for rescues of farm produces and the story of good harvest, but low prices was not a new thing but happened regularly. In recent years, there were calls for rescues for jackfruit, watermelon, dragon fruit, pineapple and many other agricultural products.

Experts warned that traders might take advantage of consumers’ compassion to arbitrarily organise rescues and earn profits, which pushed down prices of agricultural products, causing damages to farmers.

“The organisation of rescues for farm produces should be stopped,” Sơn said, adding that the arbitrary calls for rescuing were lowering the value of agricultural products.

He urged the management agencies to strengthen inspection and stop arbitrary rescues as well as unhealthy competitions which were pushing down value of farm produces.  The word of “rescue” should no longer be used to mention about consumption of agricultural products, he said.

“It’s time for us to change the approach to promote the agriculture in a more sustainable way, shifting from simple agricultural production to developing an agricultural economy. The production must be based on market analysis and forecast. This is the core solution for the long term,” he said.

Nguyễn Mạnh Hùng, Chairman of Nafoods Joint Stock Company, said that measures should be raised to prevent unhealthy competitions which were pushing down value of agricultural products.

Hùng said enterprises should join hands to protect value of products, like Thailand and Japan.

Citing the proverb that “If you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, go together,’ Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Lê Minh Hoan said that the linkage between the Government, farmers and enterprises must be enhanced to promote the development of the agriculture sustainably.

Việt Nam needed to have appropriate strategies to promote agricultural production and develop markets for agricultural products together with legal framework to coordinating between production and consumption to prevent oversupply.

Farmers needed to fundamentally change their thinking in production, pay attention to market information, plantation planning and apply modern techniques and technologies in production to improve the product quality.

Enterprises should play their roles in connecting producers and consumers, directing production and providing support to farmers in producing products that the market required.

Associations and cooperations should play roles in promoting farmers and enterprises to establish value chains and develop markets for agricultural products.

“It is critical that the production is based on the market demand and the market requirements,” Sơn stressed.

Developing the processing industry was also important to prevent the prices of agricultural products from falling when there was a good harvest. — VNS