A Canadian-funded project has helped build dozens of models for producing safe fruits, vegetables and meat in eight cities and provinces in Vietnam.
Prices of VietGAP certified vegetables only 2.1% higher
The project on building and improving the quality of farm produce was funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), who poured of CAD17 million (over 16 million) into the venture.
The project has been in operation since April 2008, with an aim to help increase food safety and hygiene control systems, focusing on major products in Lam Dong, HCM City, Hanoi, Thanh Hoa, Dong Nai, Tien Giang and Bac Giang.
After six years all 14 selected models of fruit and vegetable production were certified with Vietnamese Good Agriculture Practice (VietGAP) standards.
All 11 selected pig farms and 11 out of 13 selected chicken farms were granted Vietnamese Good Animal Husbandry Practices (VietGAHP).
All six selected pig and chicken slaughtering facilities, and all five selected chicken and pork sales outlets also met food safety and hygiene standards and were classified at levels A and B.
The project helped build two safe vegetable-growing models in Hanoi’s Yen My and Dai La Co-operatives and another in central Thanh Hoa Province. Products in Hanoi mainly supplied primary schools and office kitchens, while products in Thanh Hoa were sold in Saigon Co-op marts, LOTTE marts, BigC and Metro and local industrial parks and five-star hotels.
In the southern region, support was provided to the Hoa Loc safe mango and My Loi A orange in Tien Giang Province’s Cai Be District. Exports of such mango to Japan have reached around 100 tonnes per year in addition to smaller export contracts to China and Hong Kong.
The project also provided support to the production of safe litchis in Bac Giang Province. Certified products are priced between 5% and 10% higher than those which are not certified and are mainly exported to China with smaller contracts.
VietGAHP certified meat
Three models of safe chicken and pork production were developed in Long An, Dong Nai and HCM City, with the participation of 11 breeding farms and three slaughtering houses. These products are mainly sold at Saigon Co-op Mart chains along with Lotte Mart, Big C and Nissan.
“This is a positive sign for the development of safe vegetables production in Vietnam. The application of VietGAP standards has helped reduce production costs, ensured profits for farmers and offered affordable prices to consumers,” said Bui Van Minh, an expert from VietGAP.
Speaking at the closing ceremony of the project held in Hanoi on December 18, the Canadian ambassador to Vietnam, David Devine, said, “Studies commissioned by the projects have shown a reduction in input costs and a 5%-10% price premium for certified products sold at supermarkets – saving and revenue that accrues to the farmers.”
Based on the success of the project, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) has been expanding these models for supplying safe agricultural produce to local and foreign markets to 33 cities and provinces across the country.