Subpar wholesale markets challenge agriculture sector

Wednesday, Sep 27, 2017 09:17

Long Bien Market, a major wholesale food market in Ha Noi. Wholesale markets are not meeting the development requirements of agriculture. - VNA/VNS Photo

A viable wholesale agricultural market is an efficient link to connect distribution and production. However, difficulties such as food hygiene and safety challenge the development of the country’s agriculture, officials said at a seminar on Monday.

According to Deputy Agriculture Minister Tran Thanh Nam, some models in the network of wholesale markets for agricultural products in Viet Nam initially developed quite well, such as the Binh Dien market in HCM City. However, it currently does not meet the development requirements of agriculture.

Mechanisms and policies to support the development of wholesale markets are still inadequate, especially those related to attracting investment and managing enterprises.

By the end of 2016, there were over 8,510 markets nationwide, 94 of which were wholesale markets, accounting for 1.1 per cent, according to a report by the Domestic Market Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

The wholesale markets are located mostly in Ha Noi and HCM City, Thanh Hoa, Quang Binh, Dong Thap and Hung Yen provinces.

“The products sold in the markets are diverse, mostly fresh seafood, fresh vegetables and fruits. But their origin is unclear,” Nguyen Van Hoi, the department’s deputy director, said at an international seminar on development of agriculture wholesale markets, jointly organised by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and Ha Noi People’s Committee with the support of the French Embassy.

“The products are mainly collected by traders from farms or small farmer households without purchase contracts and no certificate of origin," he emphasised.

Only 30% of need

Nguyen Doan Toan, deputy chairman of the Ha Noi People’s Committee, also said wholesale markets had not fulfilled their function of supplying the capital city’s needs. "The total volume of goods from Den Lu and Minh Khai wholesale markets meets less than 30 per cent of demand. Meanwhile the control of quality and food hygiene and safety in the market is still inadequate,” Toan said.

Addressing the major challenge to the wholesale market in Viet Nam, Florian de Saint Vicent, France’s leading expert on wholesale market development, said the use of antibiotics, pesticides, chemical fertilizers, illegal imports or poor management were the main obstacles to food safety.

The biggest challenge now is to change the production scale of a large number of small producers, according to the expert.

Deputy Minister Tran Thanh Nam said the Agriculture Ministry would work with relevant ministries on a project to build a safe wholesale market system in central cities and some satellite provinces. - VNS

Comments (0)