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Lack of traceability: Agricultural products struggle with exports to China

18:19 | 25/10/2019

VCN – Speaking to reporters on the morning of October 22, about the congestion of agricultural exports to China, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) Phung Duc Tien said that China’s regulations are approaching advanced countries. If food safety and traceability are not ensured, agricultural products will find it hard to enter this market.

lack of traceability agricultural products struggle with exports to china Lang Son Province: Agricultural products are difficult to be exported because of traceability
lack of traceability agricultural products struggle with exports to china China imposes stricter traceability requirements on imported goods from Vietnam
lack of traceability agricultural products struggle with exports to china The textile and garment exports face many challenges in 2019
lack of traceability agricultural products struggle with exports to china
Deputy Minister Phung Duc Tien

Recently, many trucks carrying Vietnam’s agricultural exports to China have been stuck at Lang Son border gate. Would you tell us about the cause for this?

There have been some factors causing congestion of agricultural products at the border gate. The vehicle inspection process now takes six minutes instead of two. In addition, Vietnam is entering the dragon fruit harvest, so the volume of goods increased but the procedure takes a lot of time, leading to the congestion.

I requested Lang Son Provincial People's Committee to direct agencies to work with the Chinese side. There were times the Vietnamese side asked the Chinese side to accept the goods until 9pm, corresponding to 10pm China time. Accordingly, a high amount of agricultural products will be consumed, ensuring transportation costs as well as quality.

When I met the Counselor of the Chinese Embassy in Vietnam, I also proposed the Chinese side absorbed and directed the border provinces. In the recent two and three days, the volume of vehicles congested at border decreased from over 500 to over 400.

What is your assessment of changes of the Chinese market, especially the requirements imposed on the production and export of Vietnamese agricultural products to meet such changes?

China's regulations are approaching advanced countries’. China is a well-off society. They set the strict criteria for quality and standards and regulations, such as food safety and traceability. If these two factors can be guaranteed, goods will enter the Chinese market.

More than a year ago, China notified Vietnam, but our changes have not met the requirements. Vietnam must also maintain production in the direction of VietGAP, Global GAP, and high-tech production in the chain to ensure food safety and traceability, thereby meeting requirements of this potential market.

lack of traceability agricultural products struggle with exports to china
Dragon fruit is an agricultural export that often falls into congestion at the border. Photo: N. Hien.

Which solutions will be implemented by MARD to prevent this situation as well as increase the value of exports?

For dragon fruit, MARD has directed localities to review the farming area and output over the country to introduce solutions to narrow the farming area while raising output, quality and value of dragon fruits. This is restructuring, increasing added value and sustainable development.

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For agricultural products in general, the long-term solution is effective planning that considers the market demand as well as harvest output. Besides, with scientific and technological solutions, especially high technology, we have to spread the crop and plant off-season so that the output may be higher, but production is still favorable, priced and quality ensured.

Thank you,

By Thanh Nguyen/ Huyen Trang