Global Agriculture

Production linkage to elevate fruit and vegetable quality

01 March 2024, VN: The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development organized a workshop on February 27 in Gia Lai province to review agricultural activities in 2023. Additionally, the workshop underlined the local program for the Public-Private Partnership working group on fruits and vegetables, and the Gia Lai Potato Harvest Festival.

Bumper harvests with the help of potato production linkage

The agricultural sector has initiated various collaborations and linkages in terms of production, processing, and consumption, as well as solutions to attract investment from leading businesses. Consequently, the agricultural sector aims to enhance the value of agricultural products, raise farmers’ income level, and promote technology application in production, resource conservation, and emission reduction.

Regarding the development of the fruit and vegetable industry, public-private partnerships are crucial tools for attracting investment in deep processing, enhancing value, ensuring food safety, and developing advanced and efficient production linkage models.

The Public-Private Partnership working group on fruits and vegetables, led by PepsiCo Vietnam Foods Limited (PepsiCo), Syngenta Vietnam Limited Liability Company (Syngenta), and the Department of Crop Production under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, was established in 2010. Subsequently, the group has operated within the framework of the Partnership for Sustainable Agriculture in Vietnam (PSAV), with the aim of addressing bottlenecks and fully utilizing the strengths of the industry.

One notable example include the sustainable potato production program initiated by Syngenta and PepsiCo, co-leaders of the Public-Private Partnership working group on fruits and vegetables. The initiative has been implemented in collaboration with various partners including the National Agricultural Extension Center since 2019.

To date, over 5,000 farmers in the provinces of Lam Dong, Dak Lak, and Gia Lai have received training from businesses. Additionally, farmers have been provided with solutions for managing diseases and pests on potato crops. Most notably, businesses have established linkages with roughly 90 households covering an area of 450 hectares for sustainable potato production in Gia Lai province. This linkage model has provided local farmers with numerous advantages, such as initial investment support from businesses and secured market outlets, thereby alleviating concerns regarding product sales. Consequently, farmers can focus on increasing productivity and meeting quality standards.

As a result, farmers adopting the sustainable potato production linkage model enjoy relatively high and stable income levels. Notably, potato fields in Ia Tiem commune, Chu Se district, Gia Lai province are harvested with the assistance of machineries. Subsequently, potatoes are packaged by farmers and transported to processing plants.

Ms. Giap Thi Hoa from Chu Se district shared that she leased land in Ia Tiem commune to produce sweet potatoes, beans, and potatoes. Additionally, Ms. Hoa has participated in the potato production linkage model with Syngenta and PepsiCo for two years. Prior to her participation in the linkage model, income from sweet potato production was largely inconsistent over the years. However, her conversion to potato crops yielded significantly higher efficiency. The collaborating businesses also provided her with half of the required capital, thereby alleviating investment pressures. Ms. Hoa produced 17 hectares of potato in 2023, and made a profit of 1.2 billion Vietnamese dong per crop. The success of this crop motivated Ms. Hoa to cultivate three additional potato crops in 2024.

According to collaborating businesses, the sustainable potato production linkage model has delivered outstanding results over the past 5 years. Namely, the average potato yield reached 23 to 26 tons per hectare, which is three times higher compared to that of traditional production practices. Most notably, several farmers reported achieving a yield of up to 52 tons per hectare. On the other hand, the model saves over 5 million cubic meters of water annually and nearly triples farmers’ income. The success of the sustainable potato production linkage model has helped increase income levels with a focus on green agriculture development, environmentally friendly practices, climate change adaptation, carbon emission reduction, and environmental pollution reduction.

Enhancing the values of agricultural products

According to a report made by the Public-Private Partnership working group on fruits and vegetables, Vietnam’s agricultural sector achieved significant results in the development of agricultural value chains within 2023. In addition to potatoes, UNIDO-SECO supported the construction and application of standardized production and export processes, enhancing quality, and expanding into five new modern markets for mangoes and pomelos. Furthermore, modern processing technologies helped increase mango storage time to 140 days, pomelo storage time to 120 days. Consequently, post-harvest losses were reduced from 25-30% to 15-20%, thereby increasing the export turnover of pomelo by 151.2% and mango by 41.4% in 2023. The SFTW program also supported 7,724 farmers in improving production capacity for pineapples and vegetables.

Regarding development plans in 2024, PepsiCo and Syngenta’s sustainable potato production model will expand both in terms of acreage and the number of participating households. Regarding pineapples and vegetables, the SFTW program will extend its reach to involve more ethnic minority farmers and enhance market connections.

According to Mr. Tran Thanh Vu, General Director of Syngenta Vietnam, fruits and vegetables ranked among the top five products with a turnover exceeding 2 billion USD in 2023, significantly contributing to the export turnover of agricultural products.

Vietnamese fruits and vegetables have successfully entered major markets worldwide, including challenging markets such as the United States, Japan, and Europe. This achievement can be attributed to both the public and private sectors’ contributions through effective collaboration and partnerships. Some of these notable activities were deployed by the Public-Private Partnership working group on fruits and vegetables led by Syngenta, PepsiCo, and the National Agricultural Extension Center, operating within the framework of the Partnership for Sustainable Agriculture in Vietnam.

The working group has established connections between its members, shared lessons on sustainable development, and proposed numerous positive solutions. Syngenta, in collaboration with other members of the working group, has supported farmers in applying new technologies in production, resource conservation, and emission reduction with a focus on green agriculture, circular agriculture, and high-tech agriculture. Thanks to the concerted efforts and close connections of the working group members, sustainable production areas have been formed and expanded, thereby meeting the increasing demands of the market.

Mr. Vu expects that the workshop will encourage stakeholders to disseminate and replicate exemplary public-private partnership initiatives across different regions and crops, with an emphasis on supporting farmers and the sustainable development of the agricultural sector.

According to Mr. Le Quoc Thanh, Director of the National Agricultural Extension Center under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, public-private partnerships will help steer the development of the fruit and vegetable industry, and the agricultural sector as a whole, towards green, sustainable, and environmentally friendly directions.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is committed to enhancing dialogue with businesses to address issues in policy implementation, thereby overcoming difficulties and refining policies to attract investment in agriculture, with a focus on the fruit and vegetable industry. Furthermore, the Ministry aims to effectively implement the Government’s Development Plan for the Fruit and Vegetable Processing Industry from 2021 to 2030.

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