Agriculture ministry working on project to develop agricultural processing

Saturday, Oct 31, 2020 09:11

The focus of a national programme for vegetable and fruit processing will be on farming zones and processing technologies. – VNA Photo

A programme to improve vegetable and fruit processing is set to be submitted to the Government for approval, focusing on both growing zones and processing facilities.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development revealed this at a conference it held in HCM City yesterday to discuss it with experts and businesses.

Ngo Quang Tu, head of the agriculture processing and market development department’s agriculture products processing and preservation division, said the country had over 157 industrial-size facilities for processing fruits and vegetables and thousands of smaller ones as of last year.

But while the installed capacity is 1.1 million tonnes of produce a year, in reality it is only around 700,000 tonnes.

Processed produce accounted for 15.2 per cent of produce exports last year.

The industry’s contribution to increasing added value is small, and it only processes 10 per cent of the annual vegetable and fruit output.

Investment in processing is modest, with too many small facilities using outdated technologies, and the result is that the volume of products with high added value is low.

Ung The Lam, chairman of Lam Nong 007 Transparent Co-operative, said: “Businesses need access to high-quality, certified growing zones. The State should help regions register their farming zones and qualifications, which would help businesses identify zones that suit their business requirements.”

Project to develop fruit, vegetable processing

The project aims to increase exports of fruits and vegetables to $10 billion by 2030, with processed items accounting for 30 per cent.

One of its solutions is to encourage regions to form concentrated growing zones to meet processors’ raw material needs and adopt advanced agricultural technologies and farming practices.

The processing facilities will be linked up with the growing zones. Investment in the facilities will be facilitated with favourable policies.

Businesses will be encouraged to process regional specialties and key produce such as dragon fruit and lychee that are currently processed at low rates and to produce a wide variety of products.

The project will also foster research, technology transfer and the use of advanced processing and preservation technologies.

By 2030 all concentrated growing zones, farming co-operatives and purchasing businesses are expected to have at least one light processing, packaging and cold storage facility to optimally preserve produce.

Greater attention will be paid to quality, food safety and traceability, and businesses will be kept abreast of these requirements.

Efforts will be put into developing logistics and supporting industries (especially cold supply chain), domestic and export markets and a skilled workforce.

The Ministry of Agriculture will work with other ministries and local authorities to implement the project.

Fruit and vegetable exports have been growing well, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Quoc Doanh said, adding that improvement of preservation and processing facilities would open up new markets. – VNS

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