Enough food and more for the south: agriculture ministry

By Hong Chau   August 25, 2021 | 06:00 am PT
Enough food and more for the south: agriculture ministry
Well stocked vegetable shelves at a supermarket in HCMC. Photo by VnExpress/Linh Dan
There are abundant reserves of food and foodstuff supply for Vietnam’s southern region from now until the end of this year, the agriculture ministry says.

Besides sufficient supply for HCMC and the neighboring province of Binh Duong, some three million tons of rice, over 1.4 million tons of vegetables and large amounts of other groceries for the southern region are in stock from now until the year-end, a working group of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has reported to Deputy Prime Minister Le Van Thanh.

The supply of essential food and foodstuff like rice, pork, chicken, eggs, vegetables and fruits for HCMC is assured during the 15-day tightened social distancing period, the working group said.

The total available rice supply for the south in the last four months of this year is 7.16 million tons, while the demand is 3.1 million tons, including 1.6 million tons to be consumed in the south0eastern part, and 1.5 million tons in the Mekong Delta. Similarly, the total vegetable supply is 3.1 million tons, while the demand is nearly 1.7 million tons.

The supply of pork and poultry eggs is also sufficient to stock supermarkets, while frozen meat is being imported in line with domestic demand, the group said.

The southern region’s pork output currently stands at some 4,200 tons a day, or 126,000 tons in August. Its beef output is 384.3 tons a day, with major suppliers being the three provinces of Vinh Long, Ben Tre and Tien Giang. The current beef supply is sufficient for HCMC, Binh Duong and many other southern localities.

Poultry egg output in the region stands at 16.9 million eggs a day, with major suppliers being the three provinces of Tien Giang, Dong Nai and Tay Ninh.

As of August 20, a total of 1,218 outlets had registered with the agriculture ministry’s working group to supply food and foodstuff, especially agricultural products.

The ministry is implementing on a trial basis a model of buying fresh agricultural products, packing them in a 10-kilogram bag, and distributing these to people, especially those in quarantine camps and boarding houses for an average price of VND10,000 ($0.44) per kilogram.

HCMC has tasked district administrations with buying food for residents without exception, requiring the latter to "stay where they are."

Before the city announced the mobility restrictions, HCMC supermarkets saw customer numbers triple or quadruple.

HCMC, current Covid-19 epicenter, has recorded over 190,000 local cases and 7,436 deaths.

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