A farmer from Ea Bhốk Commune in Đắk Lắk Province’s Cư Kuin District harvests pepper. A memorandum of understanding has been signed aiming at supporting collaboration for sustainable pepper development in Việt Nam VNA/VNS Photo
HÀ NỘI — A memorandum of understanding (MoU) on a partnership for the sustainable production and trade of Vietnamese pepper for 2021-2025 has been signed between the Plant Protection Department (PPD) and Sustainable Spices Initiative (SSI) and IDH Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH).
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Nguyễn Quý Dương, Deputy head of the PPD under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the MoU aimed to generate about 60,000 tonnes of pepper, 75 per cent of exported pepper and help 25 per cent of farmers access safe production models and improve their livelihoods.
“One of the top priorities of the signing MoU between the three parties is to support small and medium enterprises and farmers to control pesticide residue in pepper, forming production linkages and promote communication and expansion of safe pepper production models,” Duong said on Tuesday.
This type of partnership would ensure sustainable production, meeting market requirements, he said, adding that each side would bring into full play its strength.
Per the MoU, the PPD is authorised to promote sustainable pepper production in Việt Nam through management and guidance for responsible use of pesticides. It is supposed to strengthen the capacity of public partners for scaling up sustainable pepper production. The department will also promote safe production links, monitor food safety and traceability of pepper for export.
The SSI is responsible for working with the European Spice Association (ESA) and the American Spice Association (ASTA) on market requirements and encouraging member companies to invest in sustainable production in Việt Nam.
The IDH Sustainable Trade Initiative is expected to provide technical and financial support to activities under a public-private partnership for pepper.
“Vietnamese pepper is an extremely important source of raw materials for SSI and SSI is committed to contributing to the sustainable development of the Vietnamese pepper industry, thereby helping realise our ultimate goal of all pepper products sustainable and ensure food safety," said Alfon Van Gulick, Executive Chairman of SSI.
Huỳnh Tiến Dũng, director of IDH in Việt Nam said it was not the first time the SSI had engaged with Việt Nam.
“In recent years, through the connection of IDH, SSI has co-operated with the public-private partnership of the pepper industry in a number of activities including co-organising public-private dialogue forums, setting up material for training of farmers and co-ordinating with domestic companies in implementing pepper chain projects,” he said.
According to Nguyễn Nam Hải, Chairman of the Vietnam Pepper Association, Việt Nam's pepper output accounts for 45 per cent of the world's figure and export volume accounts for 65 per cent of globally traded pepper. However, the quality of pepper is still a problem.
"The development of sustainable pepper production is an indispensable requirement for our partners to feel more secure about the quality of Vietnamese pepper," Hải said. — VNS