Leverage for Vietnam agricultural products to take off

March 16, 2021 | 09:00 am GMT+7
International integration offers Vietnam agri-products opportunities to scale the value chain, though with strict requirements.

Vietnam typically exports eight types of agricultural, forestry, and aquatic products with an annual turnover of over $1 billion, many of which have achieved high positions in the global market.

However, experts say Vietnam's agricultural sector has yet to develop modern production methods due to its small scale and lack of technological applications. As a result, agricultural production has low productivity, competitiveness, and added value.

To optimize the stages of the agri-product value chain, one solution is to remove bottlenecks in production and preservation. Also, food loss needs to be reduced, transportation costs optimized, and stable output markets found for agri-products.

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Mekong Delta agri-products could enjoy significant opportunities should Vietnam encroach more onto the international stage. Photo by Phong Vu.

Infrastructure and logistics development

Economic experts say to boost the sustainable development of Vietnam's agri-products, priority policies are needed for Mekong Delta, the nation's rice basket.

Government's resolution No. 120 on the sustainable development of the Mekong Delta in response to climate change has a hundred-year vision with several distinct investment phases. Accordingly, priority must be given to investment in logistics and transport infrastructure, seen as the lifeblood of the economy.

The government has approved a five-year $2 billion allotment for infrastructural development in the area.

Nguyen Phuong Lam, director of the Can Tho branch of Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said Mekong Delta has recently made heavy investments in infrastructure and diversified transportation means to improve the trade flow of agri-products.

Once opened for traffic, Trung Luong-My Thuan Expressway is expected to significantly speed up product delivery.

With regards to logistics, Lam said that for a long time, localities across the Mekong Delta have only focused on stages from the field to factory but paid little attention to those from the factory to port, shipping, packaging, and inspection despite their decisive role in the competitiveness of agri-products.

"That is the reason why it is very important to develop logistics centers that are capable of handling all stages of agri-production from Mekong Delta to ports and consumption markets. This would reduce waiting times and cumbersome procedures."

Logistics companies are urged to resolve this pressing problem. Most recently, the first phase of Hanh Nguyen Logistics Center, a self-contained logistics hub for all agricultural export procedures, entered operation in southern Hau Giang Province. Situated in a prime location, the logistics center provides convenient access to the Mekong Delta and southeast region.

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Hanh Nguyen Logistics (Hau Giang Agri-product Export Logistics Center) promises to open up optimal solutions for Mekong Delta agri-products to enter overseas markets. Photo by Hanh Nguyen Logistics.

Pham Tien Hoai, Hanh Nguyen Logistics CEO and board chairman of Tien Thinh Group, said, "After many years of supporting farmers, we want to create a breakthrough for them so their work is less strenuous and they achieve greater results."

The opening of a logistics center will connect all stages in the agricultural supply chain and open more markets.

"Customers and farmers need only bring their products to the center, we will take care of the rest, from cleaning to preserving and irradiating. We also handle transportation, customs clearance, exports, and financial procedures to find suitable markets for products," Hoai added.

The workshop titled "Logistics Leverage for Mekong Delta Agri-products" will take place by the end of March, with the participation of economic and logistics experts, along with representatives of leading agricultural enterprises.

The initiative will raise many issues that hinder the resilience of Mekong Delta agri-products, offering comprehensive solutions to reach foreign markets.

 
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