Mekong Delta authorities step in to help farmers sell their crops as traders play truant

Monday, Aug 23, 2021 20:24

A fish processing plant in Dong Thap Province. Mekong Delta provinces are working on ways to help farmers sell their harvest amid the lack of transport due to COVID-19. – VNA/VNS Photo Vu Sinh

Authorities in Mekong Delta provinces are helping farmers sell their harvests after they were found struggling amid COVID-19 transport and movement restrictions.

Farmers usually sell their crops and seafood to traders at the farm, but with the restrictions currently in place, the latter are not turning up.

Nguyen Minh Phoi, head of a co-operative group in Ca Mau Province, said though the prices of seafood have been dropping by tens of thousands of dong per kilogramme, farmers are struggling to sell them.

Many could incur heavy losses, he said.

Tran Van Hien, a crab farmer in the province’s Nam Can District, told Nguoi Lao Dong (The Labourer) newspaper that though prices have never been this low before, traders are not visiting farms to buy. Even the few who turn up only buy small quantities since they are concerned about selling them.

If the situation is not resolved, farmers would not be able to invest in a new crop, he warned.

Ngo Minh Nguyen, a prawn farmer in Bac Lieu Province, said the prices of animal feed and medicines are rising, but he continues to breed since the farm equipment could not be left unused for too long.

Earlier this month Nguyen Nhu Cuong, head of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development's crop production department, said with farmers in the delta struggling to sell their rice despite low prices, some are even reluctant to grow rice again.

Nguyen Tien Hai, the Ca Mau Party Committee Secretary, said the province has been making an effort to connect farmers with buyers, and monitoring farming activities to identify transport and distribution problems.

The Soc Trang Province People’s Committee has requested Can Tho City and provinces in the delta to join hands to fight COVID-19 and sustain the economy.

It wants them to work together on solutions to improve distribution.

The Bac Lieu Province Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has created a working group to facilitate distribution of recently harvested prawn.

Its counterpart in An Giang Province is working with other agencies and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s working group to connect farmers with businesses to sell some 6,500 tonnes of seafood.

In Hau Giang Province, Phung Hiep District has set up many sites to stockpile agricultural produce and seafood from farmers for vehicles to conveniently pick them up and transport them throughout the district.

Some co-operative groups there are also transporting goods to HCM City and some provinces.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Tran Thanh Nam said a ministry working group has launched a website to connect agricultural suppliers with buyers, and hundreds of tonnes of goods are sold daily.

Provinces should set up working groups for managing their agriculture markets, he added. – VNS

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