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Organic agricultural production is still in the early stages

Monday- 09:04, 20/06/2022

(VAN) Organic agricultural production in Tuyen Quang is still limited, fragmented, not commercially viable despite various advantages and support policies.

Organic agricultural production is not widespread

Tuyen Quang province currently has a total area of 114.4 hectares for ​​organic agricultural production. This includes 6.2 hectares of rice cultivation area, 27.5 hectares of tea, 18.3 hectares of oranges, 10.2 hectares of pomelo; the converted area for organic agricultural production is 52.3 hectares, 35.7 hectares of which are for pomelos, 16.6 hectares for oranges.

Although the area is modest, Tuyen Quang has expanded the development of organic agricultural production and supported the standardization of products to improve value and quality. The province has supported the development of traceability stamps for PGS organic products; maintained the application of traceability QR stamps on all of organic products.

Hong Thai communehas the largest organic tea area in Tuyen Quang province. Photo: Dao Thanh.

According to Tuyen Quang Provincial Sub-Department of Plant Protection and Cultivation, organic agricultural production in the province still faces many challenges. The current state of organic agricultural production is still fragmented and spontaneous; products are not diversified; large-scale organic agricultural production is still unsatisfactory. There have not been many effective organic agricultural production models to promote and replicate; products have failed to find a consumption market, and few people know about the local organic products. The number of businesses and cooperatives participating in production, processing and consumption of organic products or linking production and consumption with farmers through contracts is still insubstantial. The works of trade promotion and the search for product consumption markets are insufficient. Ms. Do Thi Thanh's family in Yen So village, Phuc Ninh commune, Yen Son district have planted 1 hectare of pomelos and nearly 1 hectare of oranges following the organic model for 4 years. Organic orange and pomelo produced by Ms. Thanh's family is not as appealing as those produced following the conventional model, but they have the same sweetness and quality assurance. And most importantly, consumers are absolutely assured about food hygiene and safety when eating organic fruits produced by the model.

The development of organic agricultural production in Tuyen Quang province is still in the early stages, with many difficulties. Photo: Dao Thanh.

Therefore, organic agricultural production helps her products to be consumed more conveniently. Especially for customers who order as gifts or buy in bulk for important events and parties. However, according to Ms. Thanh, the current demand for organic pomelos in Tuyen Quang market is low. Consumers still have the mindset of wanting to buy cheap products without much attention to the quality. Meanwhile, the scale of pomelos or organic fruit tree production in Tuyen Quang is still limited, connecting consumption with large and long-term partners remains a challenge.

Available strengths along with many support policies

In practice, Tuyen Quang province has many advantages to develop organic agricultural production. There are many agricultural products of excellent quality with a name on the market. Namely, Ham Yen oranges is rated as the Top 10 most valuable fruits in Vietnam; Soi Ha's specialty pomelo has a delicious, unique taste and it was among the Top 10 famous brands of 2018 with a geographical indication; Shan Tuyet Na Hang tea is recognized as an organic product and it was granted a geographical indication in 2021 and so on.

With many large lake bodies, Tuyen Quang province has favorable conditions for organic aquaculture. Photo: Dao Thanh.

Nguyen Van Viet, Director of Tuyen Quang Provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that agricultural producers in Tuyen Quang has actively applied scientific and technical advances to production. Farmers are becoming aware of the benefits of organic farming; they have a need and desire to convert to organic production methods, meeting the needs of consumers and help crops develop healthily; the soil is nurtured and fertile, with the ultimate goal towards safe and sustainable agricultural production. The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has advised the Provincial Party Committee, and People's Council on mechanisms and policies to promote the development of organic agricultural production in the province as stipulated under Resolution No. dated December 15, 2020 on policies to encourage the development of organic agricultural production in Tuyen Quang province. As of December 2021, Tuyen Quang has promoted, guided and supported businesses, cooperatives and PGS organic producers for 9 production groups with 48 participating farmers, on a total area of 70.6 hectares, 18.3 hectares of which are certified for organic production; 52.3 hectares are certified for converted organic production. The Provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development also directed its units to coordinate with specialized agencies under the People's Committees of districts and cities, as well as the People's Committees of communes and townships to consult and guide organic production project developers according to the approved list of projects for implementation.

The potential of Tuyen Quang medicinal plants is ample and adequate for the development of organic agriculture but it has not been proportionately exploited. Photo: Van Thuong.

The development of organic agriculture has initially brought not only economic benefits to farmers, but also elevated the image of Tuyen Quang agricultural products as well as created a sustainable agricultural foundation that is beneficial to the health of the producers and the consumers. Mr. Dang Xuan Chan (Dao ethnic group) in Khau Trang village, Hong Thai commune, Na Hang district has over 5 hectares of shan Tuyet tea cultivated following organic standards. Mr. Chan said that the most significant advantage of the local tea forests is that farmers have cultivated completely naturally in the past, so it is very convenient to apply organic certification procedures. However, this is also a limitation, as farmers do not know how to cultivate and nurture to ensure productivity. The district agricultural extension officer and Kia Tang Tea Joint Stock Company provided technical guidance on nurture and harvesting, so the difficulties were gradually resolved. Mr. Chan improves and adds organic nutrients to the soil for the tea plants. The big old tea trees are now shaggy with white mold, tall stems and luxuriant canopy carrying young shoots 2, 3 times higher than that in previous crops. The annual average yield is 10 tons/hectare and the consumption is quite favorable with stable prices. The Dien pomelo farm belonging to Mr. Tran Khac Dung's family in Soi Tien village, Phuc Ninh commune, Yen Son district has also been converted to organic production for over 2 years. With the support of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Vietnam Organic Association, Mr. Dung attended a training course in converted organic agriculture in 2018.

Tuyen Quang has many mechanisms and policies focusing on the development of organic agriculture. Photo: Van Thuong.

Mr. Dung said that the fertilizer for crops is now made from soybeans, fish and waste from livestock; Pesticides and herbicides are prepared from garlic, chili, ginger, and alcohol. The cost of restoring soil and utilizing organic care is more expensive and laborious, but it is safer for both producers and consumers. In the long run, organic production will protect the soil and groundwater. The quality of organic pomelo is also high praised by consumers as being more delicious, sweeter, and consequently their prices are higher.

Continuing to accompany farmers in the promotion of organic agriculture, Tuyen Quang Provincial People's Committee has approved the project "Investigate the current situation of organic crop production to research and identify organic farming areas in Tuyen Quang province by 2025, with orientations towards 2030" according to Decision No. 1017/QD-UBND dated 21/7/2021. The People's Committee also promulgated regulations on organic farming areas in the province, as detailed in Decision No. 14/2021/QD-UBND dated September 18, 2021; The People's Committee approved the list of projects to support the development of organic agricultural production in Tuyen Quang province with 83 projects, including 19 livestock projects and 64 cultivation projects, according to Decision No. 709/QD-UBND dated November 18, 2021.

Authors: Dao Thanh - Van Thuong


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