Golden opportunity for Vietnam's farm produce to regain home market
Because of Covid-19, the global farm produce supply chain has been interrupted because of logistics problems. Now is the right time for domestic farm produce to conquer domestic consumers’ hearts, experts say.
Chair of the Vietnam Digital Agriculture Association (VIDA) Truong Gia Binh said at an online workshop on solutions to agriculture production in the context of Covid-19 that Vietnamese food companies now have great opportunities in the home market as people are consuming more domestic products.
Previously, urbanites were using more imports, but now they have to consume domestic products because of problems occurring with the world’s logistics networks.
Experts says domestic firms have about a year to do this.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) reported that in the first three months of the year, Vietnam imported $294 million worth of vegetables and fruits, a decrease of 29.8 percent over the same period last year.
The sharpest decrease has been reported for imports from Thailand, by 90 percent. Meanwhile, imports from China fell by 27.7 percent and from Australia by 18.5 percent.
Vo Quan Huy, director of Huy Long An – My Binh Company in Long An province, said he can see a clear tendency of consumers shifting from imports to domestic products.
He said Covid-19 brought opportunities to agriculture. Farm produce has been selling well in the domestic market and can also be exported.
“Bananas are exported to China and they are selling very well,” Huy said. Ecuador’s bananas, Vietnam’s major rival in the Chinese market, have seen lower output because of the pandemic.
According to Nguyen Hoang Cung, director of Dai Thuan Thien Clean Agricultural Products in Can Tho City, though demand has decreased in the epidemic, if clean farm product can satisfy requirements, they still can ‘live well’. Only farmers who make products for export to China across border gates face difficulties.
“The domestic market is very large, which promises great opportunities to those who sell clean food at reasonable prices,” Cung said.
“It is time for producers to have a sense of responsibility for their products and attach importance to sustainable development rather than run a race for higher yields,” he said.
A survey by the Institute of Social Public Opinion showed that 92 percent of polled consumers said they were very interested in domestic goods, while 63 percent of consumers affirmed that they would prioritize using Vietnamese products, and 54 percent said they advise relatives and friends to choose Vietnamese goods.
Le Ha / VietnamNet
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