HANOI: The agriculture sector and localities need to find prompt solutions for sustainable development in durian cultivation and consumption, according to Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Le Minh Hoan.
“If the durian industry as well as other commodities want to develop sustainably, they must reorganise the structure from the production stage to consumption,” Hoan said.
This means fostering cooperation between enterprises and farmers from the selection of durian varieties for production, rather than just engaging in purchasing activities.
They need to transition from a business relationship to a cooperative one.
The minister also suggested that growing areas must register a code to plant durian according to standards. Moreover, it is essential to foster a close connection among businesses, cooperatives and farmers.
They must understand that sustainable development is not only for durian trees but also for businesses and farmers, as they will participate in the sustainable durian supply chain.
Nguyen Quoc Toan, director of the Agriculture and Rural Development Ministry’s (MARD) Centre for Digital Transformation and Agricultural Statistics, acknowledged that the durian industry has expanded rapidly in recent years.
Therefore, it is crucial to establish a policy framework and appropriate standards for sustainable development.
In addition to fresh durian products, the industry needs to develop processed products and also come up with specific plans for the development of durian growing areas nationwide, Toan said.
To achieve sustainable development in the durian industry, several key bottlenecks must be addressed including rapid growth, unfair competition in purchasing durians, processing infrastructure, quality management, and establishing connections among farmers, traders, and exporters; and the creation of standard processes, according to Toan.
Furthermore, Toan urged localities and enterprises to focus on frozen durian products for export, thanks to the potential of these products.
He also recommended expanding business to other markets through new-generation free trade agreements (FTAs).
At present, Vietnam is involved in numerous FTAs such as CPTPP, EVFTA and RCEP as well as significant communities like Asean and the Eurasian Economic Union. This provides opportunities for the durian industry to boost exports.
According to Nguyen Thi Thai Thanh, chairwoman of Ban Me Green Farm Joint Stock Company, a major challenge in the durian industry is the lack of consistency in the linkage between production and consumption.
The durian industry lacks a tight bond between cooperatives, farmers and businesses. Thus, if durian prices soar, farmers might refrain from selling durians to businesses offering lower prices than previously agreed upon.
This leads to instability in the industry’s operations. At the same time, cooperatives have not truly maximised their role in the linkage chain, Thanh noted.
Nguyen Hoai Duong, director of Dak Lak province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that in the past two years, durian prices have risen following the signing of the protocol on plant quarantine requirements for official durian exports to China between Vietnam and China.
This has greatly motivated the growth of the durian industry, substantially raising the income of farmers and the profits of businesses within the durian supply chain.
If the Vietnamese durian industry wants to achieve sustainable production and business, all stakeholders in the value chain must collaborate closely, Duong said.
This means farmers, businesses, localities with growing areas, state management agencies and scientists should unite in developing the industry. — Viet Nam News/ANN