Farmers harvest longan in the northern province of Hưng Yên. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoàng Hiếu
HÀ NỘI — The largest-ever international conference to promote longan and other agricultural products from Hưng Yên will be held in the northern province on Thursday.
Hosted by the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the provincial People’s Committee, the conference will connect with 15 sites in Việt Nam and nearly 60 others in 21 countries and territories including the UK, Australia, Poland, Belgium, the US, France, Germany, Japan, South Korea, mainland China, Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong, according to the ministry’s Trade Promotion Agency (Vietrade).
The event, to be held both online and in-person, is expected to bring together nearly 1,000 delegates, Director of the provincial Department of Industry and Trade Nguyễn Văn Thơ said.
Within the framework of the conference, there will be a programme to put the products on sale on e-commerce platforms and a signing ceremony of cooperation documents, aiming to boost the consumption of local products.
Thơ described the event as a good opportunity for the province to introduce Hưng Yên’s longan and other agricultural products to customers at home and abroad.
Longan, a local speciality, and other agricultural products will also be showcased on the sidelines of the conference.
Hưng Yên’s longan is also being offered for sale via postmart.vn from Thursday, marking the debut of the fruit on the e-commerce platform developed by Vietnam Post. Nearly 400 local suppliers will sell fresh longan and other longan-made goods products at the site.
Hưng Yên is home to about 4,800ha of longan, of which more than 1,300ha have met VietGAP standards. The province expects to harvest 50,000-55,000 tonnes of the fruit this year, 15-20 per cent more than last year.
It also has some 3,800ha of citrus fruits, which yield about 40,000-45,000 tonnes.
According to Vũ Bá Phú, Director of Vietrade, e-commerce platforms getting involved in promoting sales of farm produce was very helpful to farmers, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Phú said that the agency worked with e-commerce platforms to establish supply chains and develop the logistics system to ensure preservation and delivery.
He added putting farm produce online would form another sustainable distribution channel for potential products, contribute to improving digital transformation capacity for production and business as well as encouraging the use of Vietnamese products.
However, trade experts said sales of farm produce on online marketplaces required efforts from various stakeholders. They said online sales faced difficulties in supply, as it took many steps for products to reach consumers and strict preservation methods were needed.
Quality commitments to customers were also a matter of concern because Vietnamese people prefer to buy agro-products in-person to examine the quality. When choosing products online, they want appraisals from authorities and commitments from stakeholders in the supply chain.
The greatest barrier was the lack of knowledge among farmers about online sales, experts said, adding that many growers found it difficult to offer their products and attract customers.
Local authorities had to devise incentives for farmers to apply digital technology in farm produce cultivation and consumption, they said.
Meanwhile, farmers should diversify and study demand in markets, build their brands, and pay due regard to packaging. — VNS