Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — HCM City is seeking to improve the traceability of agricultural produce sold through both modern and traditional retail channels in an effort to improve food safety.
The use of high technology is seen as the major solution to tackle problems in food security and produce quality.
To meet consumer demand, the agricultural sector needs to be more efficient and produce higher quality goods, according to a report from the city’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development
Vũ Đức Thắng, deputy director of SGS Việt Nam, said on November 30 at a conference in the city that the use of technology would improve both yields and quality, and enable enterprises to join the global value chain.
In January last year, the city began experimenting with different methods to trace the origin of products.
The Phú Lộc Agricultural Co-Operative in Củ Chi District, for example, has been using QR code stamps that allow consumers to see all steps in the farming and transportation process.
The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has also been organising training classes for farmers and providing them with equipment to upload data about product origin.
Đào Hà Trung, chairman of the HCM City High Technology Association, said that consumers could check product information with their smartphones and scan the stamps or use devices set up at markets.
The programme’s portal at te-food.com can be accessed by the public.
“Consumers can check the product origin anytime and anywhere. The information will be automatically transferred to relevant agencies for easy inspection and control,” he said.
“A tracing system based on block chain technology provides consumers with information from production to consumption, all of which is done in real time.”
Under the system, farmers sell fruit to a trader who logs on to a platform and uploads information about the batch of fruits.
A transaction and a QR code are generated which accompanies the batch of fruits until they are on supermarket shelves.
Other stakeholders who perform cleaning, packaging and exporting log on to the platform and upload their information about the previous transaction.
Trần Trọng Vĩ, an agriculture expert, said that besides state and science institutes, farmers and businesses must be engaged in technology applications.
Businesses play a growing role in raising the sector’s technology level and increasing farmers’ access to hi-tech applications, he added.
The city targets having all goods sold through modern distribution channels meet VietGap standards and have proper packaging and traceability via mobile phones, according to the Department of Industry and Trade. – VNS