Businesses are looking for technology to "improve the quality" for exported agricultural products

VCN - Acknowledging the importance of improving the value of exports and increasing competitiveness, Vietnamese businesses have proactively sought solutions to apply science and technology in the production and export of agricultural products.
Technology helps streamline customs procedures and businesses comply with trade regulations Technology helps streamline customs procedures and businesses comply with trade regulations
2023 WCO Technology Conference and Exhibition ends 2023 WCO Technology Conference and Exhibition ends
Technology is pivotal in modern supply chain management Technology is pivotal in modern supply chain management
Coffee garden of G20 Coffee Vietnam Company (Dak Lak). Photo: provided by enterprise
Coffee garden of G20 Coffee Vietnam Company (Dak Lak). Photo: provided by enterprise

Meeting increasingly high standards

In the current difficult economic context, agricultural exports are greatly affected when the output and export turnover of many key agricultural products decline. However, agricultural products are a group of products with an export turnover of over US $ one billion to many major markets around the world, so there are many positive signs. For example, according to statistics from the General Department of Customs, in the first eight months of 2023, coffee exports decreased by 5.4% in volume but increased by 3.1% in turnover and 8.9% in price compared to the same period in 2022 when it will reach over 1.2 million tons, equivalent to nearly US $ 2.96 billion, with an average price of 2,463 USD/ton.

Sharing about the business's efforts in improving the quality of exported agricultural products, Ms. Nguyen Thi Hoai Trinh, Deputy Director of G20 Coffee Vietnam Co., Ltd. (Dak Lak) said that, along with growing coffee, the Company also combines pepper planting for intercropping, taking advantage of the land fund and capacity of farmers.

With these types of trees, instead of the traditional method that depends heavily on the weather like before, the Company has applied technology and techniques from making flowers and fruits to preventing diseases to help the trees stay healthy and grow well. After harvest, the Company also uses advanced machinery to carry out preservation and processing processes, using barcodes and QR codes to trace the origin of products. Thanks to that, the product has met the increasingly high standards of domestic and international consumers.

Similarly, a business specializing in exporting dried fruits and vegetables shared that international consumer standards are increasingly strict, so the business must not only seek to improve designs but also increase the application of digital technology in the production stages to make quality products. This business's products are packaged in modern lines, with eye-catching designs, clear information, and barcodes for traceability... The business even builds customer ecosystem data and product usage habits, partners' needs to evaluate the market, aiming to serve customers better.

In addition, many technology application activities in agriculture have been implemented very effectively. For example, businesses have developed the technology to raise lobsters in tanks with a circulating system using industrial feed; membrane house systems, greenhouses, and net houses integrating many high technologies in cultivation; BigData, IoT, AI applications in crop management and care, traceability; Applying soilless farming techniques, automation, and deep post-harvest processing...

Therefore, currently Vietnamese agricultural, forestry, and fishery products are present in 200 countries and territories around the world, especially in markets where Vietnam has signed a Free Trade Agreement (FTA). According to Mr. Ywert Visser, Member of the Food, Agriculture, and Aquaculture Subcommittee (European Business Association in Vietnam - EuroCham), Vietnamese agricultural products exported to the European market have increased significantly since when EVFTA took effect in 2020.

“This success is determined not only through the number of products brought into the market but also through the extent to which these products can meet the strict standards of the import market,” Mr. Ywert Visser stated clearly.

There is no really attractive policy

According to experts, Vietnam's agricultural products have many problems when exported. Vietnam's agricultural exports are mainly exported raw due to a lack of processing and preservation technology, leading to low business efficiency and competitiveness of agricultural products, and not ensuring compliance with processes, regulations, and standards of the import market from production, harvesting, preliminary processing, packaging, transportation, and traceability to boost exports. Besides, requirements related to sustainable development and environmental protection are inevitable trends in most of Vietnam's key export markets.

EuroCham representative also stated that one of the biggest challenges is the small-scale and fragmented nature of Vietnamese agriculture. This makes it difficult to invest in quality control, market access, and other important areas. Another challenge is that the productivity and quality of some Vietnamese agricultural products are low due to a lack of investment in research and development. Vietnam's agricultural product processing industry is also relatively underdeveloped, so the range of products that can be exported to the EU is limited.

Therefore, the application of science and technology to farming and producing export products is considered by experts to be extremely necessary but still has many difficulties. Mr. Pham Duc Nghiem, Deputy Director of the Department of Science and Technology Enterprise and Market Development (Ministry of Science and Technology), said that one of the reasons is that incentive mechanisms and policies have not been promptly and specifically met, there is no truly attractive policy to attract many businesses to apply and transfer technology; There is no policy to support venture capital; Credit policy does not support businesses in technological innovation.

Facing the above issues, businesses and experts believe that it is necessary to continue to review and improve incentive policy mechanisms from technology, and human resources to finance; At the same time, we must build an innovative start-up ecosystem in the agricultural industry, strengthening cooperation in agricultural science and technology with countries with advanced agriculture in the region and internationally. Enterprises must also proactively improve their qualifications and capacity to quickly receive and operate high technologies in agricultural production.

By Huongdiu/Quynhlan

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