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VN needs legal framework for organic farms

Update: April, 05/2017 - 09:00
A BFarm Company organic farm in Hà Nội’s Thanh Trì District. - VNS Photo Đoàn Tùng
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI – Việt Nam will soon complete policies, mechanisms and a national standard system to develop organic farming in the future, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Nguyễn Xuân Cường has said.

It is also one of the new directions for Vietnamese agriculture, he affirmed at a conference discussing measures to promote the production and consumption of organic agricultural products, held in Hà Nội yesterday.

Demand for organic farm produce has increased significantly both in Việt Nam and globally.

The early promotion of organic farming will play an important role in the restructuring of the agricultural sector, responding to the general trend of domestic consumption and export, Cường said.

According to statistics from the Organic Agriculture Institute, in Việt Nam, organic agriculture was performed on around 76,000ha of land in 2015, an increase of 3.6 times compared with 2010.

Organic farming took place in Hà Nội, Hòa Bình, Lào Cai, Hà Giang, Hà Nam, Lâm Đồng and Cà Mau provinces, and some organic products have been consumed in the domestic market and exported to Japan, Germany, the UK, the US, South Korea, Russia and Singapore.

There are some successful organic models such as Hoa Sữa Foods organic rice brand by Cà Mau-based Viễn Phú Organic and Healthy Foods Joint Stock Corporation, vegetable production by Organik Đà Lạt, a unique thick-skinned orange in Hàm Yên, Tuyên Quang Province, and others. However, only 30 out of 63 provinces across the country have implemented an organic farming model, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).

There are 3,000ha of coconut in Bến Tre Province and 448ha of grape, apple and vegetables in Ninh Thuận province, and some other organic farms in Hà Nội, and the provinces of Hòa Bình, Lào Cai and Tuyên Quang province, the ministry said.

Delegates at the seminar agreed that most farmers do not want to switch to organic farming due to rigorous production processes, significant time for land reclamation, high production costs and unstable markets.

Additionally, the standards for certifying produce as organic are not clear, according to Hà Phúc Mịch, chairman of Việt Nam Organic Agriculture Association.

"Việt Nam still lacks a national standards system and a comprehensive legal framework for production, certification and quality control of organic agricultural products while trust of organic products among consumers remains low," said Deputy Minister Trần Thanh Nam.

"We have to plan and protect the land and unpolluted water for organic farming to motivate people to participate in organic farm produce,” Nam said

The system of standards, production, processing and quality certification should be completed soon, he said.

At the same time, the work on inspection and supervision of organic agriculture production should be done regularly to help consumers gain peace of mind in using organic food which have been certified and qualified, Nam added.

MARD is encouraging businesses to invest in organic farm production, organic and bio-fertilisers and biocides, he said.

“The government needs to prioritise land and credit policies for organic agriculture development, and issue good policies to attract investment in organic farming," said Nam.

The ministry will collect shortcomings and propose that the Government issues resolutions on organic farming produce, minister Cường said.

At the same time, it will also work with related ministries of science and technology and natural resources and environment to complete the standards system and remove difficulties related to land policy for enterprises, he said. - VNS


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