Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — Large-scale production areas for key national products will be expanded this year under the country’s action plan to ensure food safety in the agricultural sector, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Agricultural products are classified into three main groups, including key national products, key provincial products and local specialties.
The ministry this year has expanded the One Commune One Product Programme, in which each rural commune or district will develop its own specialty, apply high technologies, use organic cultivation procedures, and global Good Agricultural Practices in farming and production.
It is also strengthening chains for “safe” agricultural products and aquatic and forestry products.
The origin of products continues to be traced, and the ministry has made efforts to seek markets for products.
According to the ministry’s report, 1,845 farms with a total area of 80,000 ha and more than 500 aquatic farms with an area of 2,618 ha last year were issued Vietnamese GAP (good agricultural practice) certificates.
The country set up 1,249 chains of safe food with 1,450 products last year.
Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Phùng Đức Tiến said that food safety in the agriculture sector improved last year thanks to more unannounced inspections.
More than 70,500 agricultural material production and trade establishments were inspected. Among these, 5,223 were fined VNĐ39.8 billion (US$1.7 million) for violations.
The number of food safety violations last year fell by 38 per cent compared to 2017 and the number of food poisoning cases dropped by 26 per cent.
Nguyễn Như Tiệp, head of the National Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Quality Assurance Department under the ministry, said the Law on Cultivation and Law on Animal Husbandry contain clear criteria on quality and food safety for agricultural products.
Last year, the department reviewed the list of agricultural materials and rejected 1,774 plant protection products, 1,052 veterinary drugs, and 3,621 fertilisers, all of which were considered substandard and unsafe.
Tiến said that producers and agricultural product traders should learn about the new food safety regulations to avoid problems in the export of vegetable, fruit and seafood.
The ministry will continue training staff for monitoring and managing food safety while upgrading testing equipment to ensure food safety that meets global criteria.
Last year, export value of agro-forestry and aquatic products reached $40 billion. It is expected to increase to between $42 billion and $43 billion this year. — VNS