Photo for illustration (Source: vca.org.vn)
However, the model still meets difficulty in expanding area because production investment is big and consumption is unstable.
So far, the whole city has about 5,100ha growing safe vegetables, of which more than 224ha of vegetable area are producing under the VietGAP standards.
To build a safe vegetable field under the VietGAP standard requires investment in technique infrastructure, irrigation, net house and house for preliminary treatment, altogether a significant investment.
In addition, farmers have to pay for tests of soil, water and atmosphere, which must be safe to maintain the concentrated production area. Meanwhile, they still produce mainly based on their experiences and haven’t diversified crops to meet market demands, therefore, output of products is not stable.
In term of consumption, farmers and co-operative units haven’t invested to introduce their products on mass media or rent kiosks to display their products.
As a result, safe vegetable production under VietGAP standards is only appropriate in the large scale and for export, because many technique criteria are very complex and spending for granting certificate is high. Farmers producing vegetables under VietGAP standards operate thanks to support from the Government or non-Governmental organizations, so when the certificate expires, most co-operative units have trouble getting re-granted certificate.
The facts show that to develop safe vegetable in general and vegetable under VietGAP standards in particular, encouragement and support policies of the government are essential. Moreover, related authorities should communicate, train and guide to improve awareness of farmers on vegetable production, from choosing breeding crops, using herbal and biological pesticides and dairy book for field, preliminary treatment, processing and maintenance of products in the right way to develop consumer confidence in safe products.
Furthermore, the Government should support people with capital to rent kiosks to display their products and build in-field irrigation systems, build preliminary house to maintain the products in harvest season, as well as support to connect farmers with businesses to sign contracts to consume the vegetables at sustainable price, ensuring benefits for both sides.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development should consider addressing problems in granting VietGAP certificates. Importantly, a safe vegetable distribution system or points only selling vegetables under VietGAP standards would help consumers avoid vegetables with unclear origins./.