|Prices of vegetables have fallen in Đà Lạt, itself a vegetable growing hub, due to imports from China, traders said.— Photo nld.vn
HCM CITY — Prices of vegetables have fallen in Đà Lạt, itself a vegetable growing hub, due to imports from China, traders said.
Người Lao Động (The Labourer) newspaper reported that many traders in the districts of Lạc Dương, Đơn Dương and Đức Trọng recently imported large volumes of cheap Chinese vegetables.
As a result, prices of local produce have plummeted, and farmers and traders have been unable to sell their stocks despite cutting prices, it said.
The prices of some vegetables have fallen by 50 per cent.
Potato costs only VNĐ7,000 per kilogramme, half the price a year ago, onion costs around VNĐ3,000 and carrot, VNĐ2,000-3,000. Last year all of them were selling at above VNĐ10,000.
Trần Thanh Nhã, a farmer in Đơn Dương District, has planted vegetables on 1.5ha.
In previous years two traders would regularly come to his farm to buy his vegetables, but this year they deposited VNĐ50 million (US$2,100) and had not returned, he said.
He called them many times but they did not reply, he said.
Nguyễn Thị Phương Bình of Đà Lạt has grown onions but cannot sell them now.
“Traders bargain for under VNĐ5,000 per kilogramme. At this price, I lose since the wages for harvesting is around VNĐ250,000 per day,” she told the newspaper.
Nguyễn Thế Hiền of the Đà Lạt market management board said not only farmers but also traders at the market face difficulties due to the low prices.
Many traders who have been doing business at the market for a long time have closed their shops since they are unable to sell Đà Lạt vegetables, something he had never seen happen before, he said.
Not only individuals but also large companies have been hit.
Nguyễn Thị Ánh Tuyết, deputy director of Anh Đào Agriculture Service Co-operative, said while her co-operative has not been affected by the competition from Chinese products, it has been hit by the low prices.
Local farmers blame the situation on the cheap imports from China, admitting that vegetables and fruits from China look good and are cheap. Even local specialities like cherries are unable to compete with the Chinese products, they lamented.
Many people have been warning for a long time about the threat from Chinese vegetable imports but little has been done to local production.
Lê Thị Hương of Đơn Dương District said some companies imported vegetables from China and then attached Đà Lạt labels.
Trần Thanh Vũ, head of Tân Dương District’s economic and infrastructure department, said a large quantity Chinese imports is not sold locally meaning authorities are unable to prevent fake labelling and other dubious activities.
There is no prohibition against import of Chinese products, he said.
Nguyễn Văn Sơn, director of the Lâm Đồng Province Department of Agriculture, told The Labourer that the province has adopted many methods to ensure the quality and origin of products.
Farmers and traders do co-operate with each other to protect the Đà Lạt trademark, but it would take more time to achieve critical mass, he said. — VNS