Ho Chi Minh City boosts production and exports of agricultural products

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Workers take care of orchids at Ngoc Dan Vy orchid garden. Photo: N.H
Workers take care of orchids at Ngoc Dan Vy orchid garden. Photo: N.H

Boosting production after Covid-19

At Tan Phong ornamental fish farm (Binh Chanh district), Mr. Nguyen Tan Phong, the owner of the fish farm, and his son were busy feeding the fish.

Recalling the time almost half a year ago, Mr. Phong said, at that time, his entire fish farm and households in his aquarium cooperative group fell into a state of “hibernation”.

After Ho Chi Minh City decided to reopen, production and consumption of ornamental fish quickly revived. Every day, Mr. Phong and other households sell about 100kg of ornamental fish for export and domestic consumption. According to Mr. Phong, this consumption has not returned to the pre-pandemic level, but it shows positive signs, creating motivation for farmers to actively produce because if we compared to previous rice production, ornamental fish farming brings three to five times more income on the same production area.

Not far from Tan Phong fish farm, nearly a dozen workers of Ngoc Dan Vy orchid garden (Binh Chanh district) are also busy taking care of hundreds of thousands of pots of dendro orchids of all kinds.

Around the garden, pots of colorful orchids cover the shelves, many pots are blooming and are ready to be sold. Mr. Nguyen Thien Nhu, manager of Ngoc Dan Vy orchid garden, said that the current output of the garden is not enough to meet the market’s demand. Last Tet, the garden’s revenue reached about VND400 million and is currently about VND100 million per month on average.

Mr. Nhu added the garden will move to build its own brand by designing its own pots with the garden’s logo. At the same time, they improve the skills of workers, quality and uniformity of the product. Mr. Nhu is also planning to implement an orchid tissue culture project to develop domestic orchid seed sources, reducing dependence on imported seed sources. Being proactive in the domestic seed source is also the basis for exporting this commodity to foreign countries in the near future.

Meanwhile, the nectar of VietNipa Vietnam Coconut Development Co., Ltd (Can Gio district) – a product that has just been recognized by the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City as an OCOP product (one product per commune), is also receiving enthusiastic support of consumers thanks to many unique and healthy points.

Accordingly, because it is grown in mangrove areas, in the nectar of coconut water there are many types of amino acids, vitamins and minerals that are naturally beneficial to health. Test results at the Center for Experimental Analysis Service in Ho Chi Minh City show that the product is suitable for people with diabetes, and has the ability to detoxify and partially supplement minerals for the body.

In particular, these minerals are completely natural, available in the nipa tree, without using any preservatives in the production process. The product of VietNipa’s nectarine has brought great economic value to the nipa tree. Because in the past, farmers mainly only harvested the fruit and leaves of the nipa tree with a negligible value, only a few million VND/ha/year. But with the association with VietNipa to gather honey, each household has an income of tens of millions of VND per month, equivalent to the amount of money that previously took these households a whole year to earn from selling fruit and leaves of nipa.

Mr. Phan Minh Tien, Director of VietNipa, said that during the Covid-19 pandemic, the consumption of the company’s products was very good because many consumers wanted to drink this water for electrolytes and minerals and energy to improve health. Currently, from the distilled coconut molasses, VietNipa offers three products to the market: pasteurized water coconut molasses, condensed water coconut molasses and nipa sugar.

The products all meet the standards of ISO 22000, HACCP, certification of Vietnamese goods for integration standards and are eligible for export to fastidious markets. Accordingly, many import partners in the markets of Europe, Japan, Korea, Australia, the US are also very interested in this product and ask about importing it.

However, as it is a start-up, production capacity is still limited, so VietNipa is currently focusing on developing the domestic market. However, the future prospects of VietNipa are very bright.

According to Mr. Tien, Can Gio currently has up to 900 hectares of natural water coconuts, but the company has only exploited three hectares. Expanding to the whole Mekong Delta, the area of ​​nipa is ten times larger. Therefore, the space for development is still very large and the company is expected to continue to expand cooperation and investment to develop products.

Efforts to increase value of agricultural production

Mr Dinh Minh Hiep, Director of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of Ho Chi Minh City, said that in 2021, due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, many production and business indicators in the agricultural sector of Ho Chi Minh City have decreased, affecting the growth of the agricultural sector. Typically, the area under cultivation of ornamental flowers decreased by more than 15%, especially background flowers decreased by 53%.

The production of seeds of all kinds also decreased by over 22%, the export of seeds decreased by nearly 74%. Livestock also recorded a sharp decline, notably, the output and export value of ornamental fish both decreased by more than 10 % compared to 2020.

Ho Chi Minh City’s agricultural sector sets a task to strongly restructure and transform agriculture in 2022, develop urban agriculture, focus on developing a group of six key products of the urban agriculture industry ​​through the application of high technology, clean agriculture, organic agriculture, and application of biotechnology.

Accordingly, the target of Ho Chi Minh City is to increase production value from 5.8 – 6%; economic value is from VND540 to VND560 million/ha of production land. Increasing the proportion of high-tech agriculture, accounting for 40% – 45% of the total agricultural production value.

Achieving the above goal, Mr. Dinh Minh Hiep said, Ho Chi Minh City’s agricultural industry will focus on implementing solutions to promote production, consumption and export of agricultural products in the context of preventing and controlling the Covid-19 pandemic.

Reviewing, adjusting, developing and implementing policies, programs and plans to remove difficulties and accelerate transformation in order to promote agricultural production development. Science and technology development – application of information technology, digital transformation in agriculture; transferring techniques to people; develop high-tech agriculture in combination with eco-tourism and environmental protection.

Maintaining, expanding and promoting the city’s seed production development support. Promoting the central role of cooperatives, building a chain of agricultural, forestry and fishery products, promoting brands, supplying domestic consumption and export, ensuring food safety to create steady and stable development.

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