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Building a model of consuming agricultural products in pandemic areas

12:56 | 11/06/2021

VCN- Talking to a number of press agencies on May 31, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Minh Hoan said that the ministry will coordinate with the Vietnam Women's Union and the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union on agricultural product consumption models for people in pandemic areas in a more formal way, both consuming agricultural products and ensuring product quality and consumers during the pandemic.

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Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Minh Hoan gave an interview to the press on May 31

The Covid-19 pandemic is having complicated developments in many localities. What solutions does the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development have to support people and localities so the consumption of agricultural products is not affected?

When consumption is difficult, we often see talk of "rescuing" agricultural products. During the Covid-19 pandemic, movements were also formed in many places to help in "rescuing" agricultural products. However, it's time to get rid of this "rescue" mindset and take more concrete action.

Especially in the context of the pandemic, it is necessary to take more consistent action to ensure safety, avoiding the situation that people buy and then leave it, which is a waste of efforts of farmers.

In order to help people and localities to consume agricultural products amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development will coordinate with the Vietnam Women's Union and the Central Committee of the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union on models of agricultural product consumption for people in pandemic areas in a more formal way, ensuring both consumption of agricultural products and product quality, and consumers' safety during the pandemic.

We also hope that the coordination between the three units will quickly develop into a system from central to local level. In addition, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development will discuss with the Vietnam Retail Association to connect supply and demand, and ensure information on agricultural product consumption is transparent.

In the perspective of smooth transportation and circulation of goods during the pandemic, how will the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development coordinate with functional sectors?

Sometimes information about agricultural output and consumption of agricultural products do not match between localities. For example, when the price of Vinh Chau purple onion in Soc Trang province dropped, the locality had to mobilize to support consumption for farmers, there were places like Dak Lak where consumers said they still had to buy Vinh Chau purple onions for VND45,000/kg.

It is clear that connecting domestic consumption is problematic. Asymmetric information creates local redundancies where it is not needed or cannot be transported.

Overcoming this situation, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development will propose to the Government a policy to support domestic transport units so that there is no longer the situation of blocking rivers from markets, making the transportation more difficult.

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On May 31, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development and representatives of a number of distribution systems went to Bac Giang to discuss the plan to consume lychee. Photo: Nguyen Thanh

In the long term, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development will establish two-way information to provide full details on output and harvest to distribution units, not waiting until harvest to see excesses or shortages.

Currently, localities with a large amount of agricultural products that are in the harvest season such as lychee, mango have actively developed consumption scenarios, even Bac Giang considers plans for domestic consumption up to 90% of lychee if exports are difficult. What action will the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development take to promote the export of these items, reducing pressure on domestic consumption, Minister?

In order to ensure a smooth export of lychee to China even in the context of the pandemic, leaders of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development will go directly to the northern border gates, directly working with Chinese partners of the two sides to create favorable conditions for customs clearance and export of lychee.

I will join representatives of some distribution systems in Bac Giang to discuss the plan of consuming lychee, connecting to consume immediately. In the urgent situation, demanding the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to have a sustainable solution, not waiting for the surplus.

In the long term, what is the fundamental solution for agricultural product consumption in the context of the pandemic?

I think it is necessary to be transparent in terms of information, each Department of Agriculture and Rural Development must determine to switch from thinking about agricultural production to thinking about agricultural economy, not being passive in consumption.

Setting up digital transformation to capture market information, innovate transportation methods, so that even in the context of the pandemic and social distancing conditions, consumers can buy delicious agricultural products through e-commerce platforms.

Thank you very much!

By Thanh Nguyen/Kieu Oanh