|Combo packages of agricultural products from the southern region are transported to HCM City for consumption. — Photo nld.com.vn|
HCM CITY — The consumption of agricultural products and circulation of farm produce has improved in the southern region, according to Lê Thanh Tùng, the deputy director of the Department of Crop Production under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
“The consumption of agricultural products is still equivalent to the amount of agricultural products consumed each year thanks to joint efforts of ministries, sectors and local authorities,” he said.
Nguyễn Minh Lâm, deputy chairman of Long An Province’s People’s Committee, said that the cost of goods transport, however, had increased by 3-4 times compared to before the pandemic. It had been difficult for farmers to find outlets and they had to sell their products at low prices. However, buyers had to pay high prices.
Consumption had been slowing down for many agricultural products like lemons, sweet potatoes, guava, vegetables, pork, chicken, duck, poultry eggs and aquatic products of all kinds.
“The cost of materials for agricultural production has increased and many farmers are not interested in producing for the following seasons,” Lâm said.
According to Trần Việt Trường, chairman of Cần Thơ city’s People’s Committee, the city serves as a focal point for aquatic production and rice processing for export in the Mekong Delta. However, about 95 per cent of these businesses in the city have stopped operating due to the impact of the pandemic.
Most of them could not meet the requirements of the three-on-site production model (working, eating, resting at the factory or workplace).
The remaining firms have maintained only moderate production due to limited raw materials and been trying to finish orders that cannot be delayed.
Nguyễn Đình Tùng, general director of Vina T&T Group, said his company and other export enterprises faced problems in purchasing, preliminary processing, and transportation of fruits at a time when there is an increasing demand for fruit in overseas markets and a large output of fruit in the localities.
The company applied the three-on-site production model during the last two months, but had only operated at 30-50 per cent capacity
Lê Thanh Tùng of the ministry said a special working group of the ministry had helped HCM City and southern provinces maintain agricultural production and consumption.
It had gathered producers, suppliers and traders of agricultural products and food, organised forums on connecting producers and consumption markets, and launched a programme to supply combos of agricultural products at reasonable prices to coronavirus hotspots such as HCM City and Bình Dương and Đồng Nai provinces.
The ministry had asked the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development in cities and provinces to establish working groups to solve problems, promote the circulation and consumption of agricultural products, and maintain supply chains during the social distancing period.
The agricultural sector, enterprises and farmers needed to realise the importance of connecting supply and production chains, and using cooperatives and cooperative groups to promote consumption of agricultural products, Tùng said.
For example, Cần Thơ city had gathered 139 suppliers with a total supply capacity of nearly 23,000 tonnes of agricultural and aquatic products. They had connected with traders who bought more than 5,800 tonnes of agricultural and aquatic products. — VNS