Lavifood Company in Long An Province also bought more than 1,000 tons of dragon fruits from farmers at a price VND5,000 per kilogram higher than the market price to produce canned dragon fruit juice. This product will be launched to the domestic market and exported. Agricultural minister Nguyen Xuan Cuong said that this is the model of the association between farmers and enterprises that reduces risks for farmers, as well as showing the necessity of balancing the export of fresh agricultural products and the processing of agricultural products, contributing to increasing the value of products and helping to solve the excess of a certain type of agricultural products in peak harvest season. Once these association models are widely expanded, the situation of spontaneous rescue will gradually reduce.
Leaders of Long An Province proposed the Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development to promote the establishment of a distribution center for agricultural products in China which plays as a hub in trade with domestic enterprises to reduce risks; to preside the plan to associate provinces in spreading dragon fruit crop to avoid overproduction. This is a notable proposal.
Mr. Nguyen Lam Vien, Chairman cum CEO of Vinamit Joint Stock Company, an experienced businessman in agricultural product processing and exporting, said that the establishment of a distribution center for agricultural products in Taiwan or in the US appeared long ago. However, firstly, these distribution centers are built at concentration material growing areas. These centers are well-invested in the logistics system to create favorable conditions in purchasing, preserving, and transporting. These will be the place to classify, process, pack or send agricultural products to cold storage warehouses. These centers are usually organized by product lines’ associations, farmers’ associations or enterprises under the supervision of local authorities or relevant departments to eliminate the situation of an interest group or arbitrate price conflict between growers and buyers. Meanwhile, the agricultural sector is responsible for arranging farmers, via cooperatives, to produce a certain agricultural product, following farming process, ensuring requirements on food safety and traceability. When agricultural products need rescuing, enterprises will come to these centers to buy for processing or stockpiling.
Ministries and departments also made efforts in negotiations to quickly help Vietnamese fruits and agricultural products to enter choosy markets, such as the US, Japan, South Korea, Australia, the EU, New Zealand, and Chile. Owing to that, the number and types of export fruits, including dragon fruit, longan, mango, star apple, and lychee, will increase ceaselessly. Unfortunately, it usually takes 2-3 years or even 5-7 years to open a market for a certain type of fruit due to various procedures and requirements.
The disadvantage of these markets is long distance. Transporting by sea takes lots of time so the quality of vegetables and fruits is reduced easily while transporting by air makes the cost increase. Meanwhile, China is a large consumer market and is tightening requirements on quality and traceability. Therefore, besides diversifying export markets, China will remain the largest agricultural product importer of Vietnam. Enterprises should quickly adapt to new requirements on the quality and food safety of this market.