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VIETNAM SEEKS NEW MARKET FORM FARM PRODUCE

ietnam’s farm produce exports are experiencing difficulties due to the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic in traditional markets such as China and the EU. In response, the Ministry of Industry and Trade is boosting efforts to find new export markets, while developing supply chains in the domestic market.

Wood, seafood exports suffer

Tran Chau, chairman of the Binh Dinh People’s Committee, said that by the end of March, the province harvested about 48,000 tonnes of chili. However, consumption had dropped due to the spread of the pandemic. In addition, local exports of tuna, shrimp and furniture to European nations have been affected.

“Wood and wood products and seafood are two major exports, bringing turnover of US$500 million and US$300 million each to the province. But the Covid-19 pandemic has affected local exports,” Tran Chau said.

Bac Giang litchi is expected to be harvested from May 20 to June 15 for output of about 40,000 tonnes, and from June 15 to July 20 for output of around 120,000 tonnes. However, litchi exports to China will face difficulties if Covid-19 continues to spread, said Duong Thanh Tung, director of the Bac Giang Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Nguyen Manh Hung, board chairman of the Nafoods Group, said the spread of Covid-19 has resulted in a doubling of transportation costs to China and a 15 percent increase of shipment costs to the EU. In addition, some businesses have conducted unfair competition by reducing selling prices in export markets or forcing farmers to lower product prices.

Seeking new markets

According to Duong Thanh Tung, Bac Giang Province is targeting litchi exports to new markets and seeking to boost domestic consumption. This year, Bac Giang litchi is licensed to be exported to Japan. The province has coordinated with the Plant Protection Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to guide farmers in meeting Japan’s requirements. In addition, the province has directed the local industry and trade sector to promote domestic consumption and expand distribution channels in the central and southern regions of Vietnam.

Nguyen Manh Hung suggested continued trade promotion activities and market opening efforts for other agricultural products, such as durian, passion fruit and sweet potato.