|Farmers grow clean vegetables in Cần Thơ City’s Phong Điền District. – VNA/VNS Photo Vũ Sinh|
CẦN THƠ – The Mekong Delta should bring farmers and agricultural companies closer together and adopt advanced farming techniques to increase the value of its farm products, experts have said.
The delta has conducive conditions for growing rice and fruits and aquaculture yet their exports are below expectations because of the small scale of production and failure to apply advanced farming techniques, they said.
The region accounts for more than 50 per cent of the country’s rice, 70 per cent of fruits and 58 per cent of fisheries output.
Speaking at a seminar in Cần Thơ on Monday, Lê Thanh Tùng, deputy head of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s plant cultivation department, said Việt Nam has a great advantage in fruit exports since it has a diverse variety.
There are experts and agricultural officials to help farmers use advanced techniques to grow fruits in the off-season, according to Tùng.
The country’s potential for export of fruits such as mangosteen is high but farmers do not plant it in large quantities.
However, the biggest concerns are that the delta’s farmers do not “like” to join hands for farming or use the advanced farming techniques taught by agricultural officials and lack access to markets, he said.
The fact that farmers do not apply some of the advanced farming techniques they are taught has meant the quality of their products not meet export demands.
Other participants said to add value to its key agricultural products, the delta provinces should establish more concentrated farming areas and boost the application of advanced farming techniques to control the quantity and quality.
Farmers should join co-operatives to tie up with companies since they sign purchase contracts only with co-operatives and not individual farmers, they said.
Nguyễn Minh Toại, director of the Cần Thơ Department of Industry and Trade, said the city should encourage farmers to set up co-operatives to develop large-scale speciality fruit growing areas and attract companies and processors who process fruits for exports.
Nguyễn Tấn Nhơn, deputy director of the Cần Thơ Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the city had created tie-ups between various stakeholders for growing key agricultural products such as high-quality rice and for establishing large-scale rice fields.
It has set up clean vegetable growing areas and speciality fruit growing areas that are combined with eco-tourism.
The city has developed aquaculture areas that apply quality standards such as Vietnamese good agricultural practice, Aquaculture Stewardship Council and Best Management Practices.
The city has decided to move towards hi-tech agriculture, smart agriculture and urban agriculture and combine them with eco-tourism.– VNS