Several fruits in the southern region are being cultivated under Good Agricultural Practices standards and have high export value, according to the Plant Cultivation Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).
The fruits, including Nam Roi grapefruit, Hoang Hau dragonfruit, Tan Trieu grapefruit and Lo Ren milkfruit, are certified under the Vietnamese Good Agricultural Practices (VietGap) and Global Good Agricultural Practices (Global Gap).
However, fruit cultivation in the south still faces some obstacles, including inconsistent quality and poor competitiveness on the global market. In addition, the area for specialised cultivation for one particular fruit is too small.
Several localities have not found a stable outlet for their fruits and disease outbreaks have not been controlled well.
The southern region has 400,000ha of fruits of various kinds with total annual output of 4 million tonnes, accounting for 52.6 per cent of the country’s total fruit area and 57.4 per cent of the country’s fruit output.
The agriculture ministry on Tuesday held a meeting in Tien Giang Province to discuss important problems facing the industry.
Speaking at the meeting, experts said localities had instructed farmers to grow fruit under VietGap but the scale was still small and scattered, with each fruit cultivation area under VietGap standards reaching an average of a few hectares.
Vo Mai, deputy chairwoman of the Viet Nam Gardening Association, said farmers growing fruit under VietGap standards faced several difficulties.
The Government pays fees for farmers to apply for the VietGap certificate for the first time, but only for that time period. Once that passes, many farmers withdraw from growing fruit under VietGap standards, she said.
Consumers have not had identification between normal fruit and VietGap-certified fruits so farmers who grow VietGap-certified fruits find it is difficult for their products to compete with normal fruits, she said.
She suggested farmers should co-operate together to set up co-operatives in order to meet the demand of large-scale fruit cultivation and secure outlets for their products.
Bui Ba Bong, deputy minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, has ordered the southern region to create a zoning plan that would develop the region’s fruit cultivation area.
He urged the southern provinces each to develop two to three specialised fruits as their key fruits.
He also ordered provinces to replicate the models of growing fruits under the VietGap and Global Gap standards as well as the model of cooperation among the State, enterprises, farmers and scientists in fruit cultivation.
The southern region has targeted that its area under fruit cultivation will be 418,000-438,000 ha in 2020, with total annual output of 5 million tonnes.