June 19, 2024


Conference in Vietnam highlights challenges country's organic farming faces, seeks policy solutions




Vietnam's organic farming areas are often fragmented and lack sufficient barriers to prevent chemical contamination from neighbouring conventional farms, participants at a conference in the country recently heard.


The Agricultural Extension Forum was organised at the National Agricultural Extension Centre, under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, and held in collaboration with the Bắc Giang Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. It was also revealed during the event that sustainable agricultural development was potentially highly lucrative in the Vietnamese provicne of Bắc Giang.


Vietnam's Northern Midlands and Mountainous regions are considered to have significant potential and advantages for developing organic agriculture, thanks to abundant soil, water and climate resources, supportive policies and increasing local expertise. The region is focused on integrated multi-value and sustainable agricultural development.


However, small and scattered farming operations in the region must be transformed into concentrated production areas, ensuring water and environmental standards meet organic certification criteria.


In response to these challenges, the Agricultural Extension Forum aims to find policy solutions for organic and circular agriculture, strategies for production links and market expansion and methods to enhance capacity and communication for sustainable, value-driven organic farming.


Lê Bá Thành, deputy director of the Bắc Giang Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, shared that Bắc Giang has implemented various policies to promote organic and circular agriculture. These include linking production with consumption, supporting agriculture, forestry and fisheries, providing seed support and encouraging OCOP product development.


Currently, the province has six certified organic farming models and several circular agriculture models, including integrated pig and duck farming with vermiculture, combined poultry and organic fertiliser production, rice-fish systems and rice-mushroom-organic fertiliser production. These models have increased economic value by 12-300% and reduced input costs by 10-30%.


Still, challenges remain, such as limited market differentiation for organic products, small-scale operations, a lack of diverse organic inputs, limited participation from businesses and residents, and insufficient incentive policies.


Also, at the event, Đào Thanh Vân, vice president of the Vietnam Organic Agriculture Association, emphasised that developing organic agriculture requires linking production, processing and consumption chains to build markets, establish trust and create high value for organic products.


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