Nguyễn Nguyên Phương, head of the HCM City’s Department of Industry and Trade’s trading management division, speaks to Sài Gòn Giải Phóng (Liberated Sài Gòn ) newspaper about the necessity of a pork trading floor in the city.
Why is the Department of Industry and Trade setting up the pork trading floor now?
Pork ranked second in terms of demand among food items in the city. The city consumes more than 10,000 pigs a day.
However, there are still many difficulties in this sector such as poor management and the traditional nature of the pork trading market with small farms and manual slaughter.
Pork must go through many intermediaries to reach customers, causing high prices.
Based on projects such as for tracing pork origin and building a safe food supply chain in the Southern Key Economic Region, we found that production and processing of agricultural products and foods have great potential for growth.
So the Department of Industry and Trade sought permission from the People's Committee to trial a pork trading floor before replicating it for other agricultural products and foodstuffs.
In my opinion, its establishment can help the city to meet many objectives at the same time such as restructuring agricultural production, adoption of technology including biotechnology and market stability.
Can you describe the organisational structure and operating mechanism of the trading floor?
It can operate in the form of a joint stock company like most agricultural trading floors in countries with a similar agriculture sector as Việt Nam’s.
The State will only support the setting up and development of the floor initially and issue appropriate regulations.
It will monitor and supervise instead of directly investing or managing.
Buyers and sellers will directly trade while quality inspection of pork after slaughter will be assigned to an independent quarantine unit.
With the support of foreign experts, especially from the British and Dutch consulates in the city, the department proposes to study more trading models for pigs and other agricultural products to choose suitable solutions for the city’s model.
What are the likely benefits of this model compared to the current system?
According to the evaluation of research teams, this model will bring great benefit to society as well as all the participants.
Farmers can deal directly with buyers and decide the selling price without intermediaries. Therefore, farmers can build their brands and know the needs and market demand to have a consistent and steady production and business plan.
Customers will be able to buy clean and safe food at [farm] prices without intermediary costs.
What were the difficulties faced by the department in researching and developing this model?
The department had difficulty in persuading small farms and manual slaughterhouses to participate.
However, this problem has been solved thanks to the project for tracing pork origin.
Thanks to the direction of the People's Committee and support and co-ordination by related departments, cities in the Southern Key Economic Region and the two wholesale markets of Hóc Môn and Bình Điền, the preparatory steps have gone smoothly.
Can you tell us about the schedule for the project?
We expect that by the end of 2020 specific models will be proposed as well as complete preparatory steps for pilot operation in early 2021. —VNS