In recent years, staple winter agricultural products of Hai Duong province have got not only a foothold in the domestic market but also open doors for export to the world.
Workers of Hoa Mai Co., Ltd. preliminarily treat farm produce for export
These are positive signs contributing to improving the value of agricultural products.
With 15-year experience in exporting agricultural products, Nguyen Van Hoa, Director of Hoa Mai Co., Ltd. (Nam Sach), affirmed: "Nowadays, consumer markets of farm produce, especially specific winter products of the North like kohlrabi, carrots, potatoes, etc. are no longer as narrow as before."
"Demand for these commodities in East and Southeast Asia is on the rise. In South Korea, the key export market of my company, the volume of exports in the next year is always 20% greater than in the previous year," said Hoa.
In the 2016 winter crop, the company exported 800 tons of frozen winter melons, potatoes, chilies, radishes, etc. to South Korea. It is expected that, this year, the company will export more than 1,200 tons of winter vegetables of various kinds to this market.
To meet export requirements, Hoa Mai Co., Ltd. has associated with farmers in Nam Sach and Thanh Mien districts to build on-site material zones covering an area of about 30 ha.
Though it is not the main export time, Hung Viet One Member Co., Ltd. (Gia Loc) has received orders for up to 26,000 tons from various countries, double the previous year.
The company director Tang Xuan Truong said this year, apart from such traditional markets as Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, and Thailand, the company had approached potential markets like the United Arab Emirates and Singapore.
Thanks to increasingly improved quality and appearance, the competitiveness of the provincial agricultural products with Chinese ones has also risen.
At present, the company's factory cannot meet the demand of preliminarily treating agricultural products for export. Therefore, the company intends to expand its factory to better serve customers.
The province annually cultivates about 22,000 ha of winter crops with a yield of 600,000 tons.
Previously, winter agricultural products of the province were only domestically consumed, leading to over supply and frequent price squeezing of traders. On the other hand, products had to go through many intermediate stages to reach consumers. Hence, despite a lot of advantages in winter crop production, the value achieved was not high.
Recently, numerous prestigious exporters of farm produce in and outside Hai Duong have chosen the province as a place to produce goods for domestic consumption and export, resulting in higher and higher economic efficiency of the winter crop.
Product quality in focus
To be able to export fresh onions to Japan, Nguyen Trong Quyet must strictly follow the production process required by his partner
The expansion of consumer markets is the solution to the problem of finding outputs for agricultural products which has fallen into a deadlock for a long time.
However, to open export doors, bottlenecks in production must be removed to meet product quality criteria.
Though having contracted for export of fresh onions to Japan, Nguyen Trong Quyet in Tranh Xuyen hamlet, Dong Tam commune (Ninh Giang), is still worried that his products may be returned at any time if failing to meet standards.
According to Quyet, it took him much time to renovate farming conditions to reach the agreement with his Japanese partner. Within two years, he did not cultivate anything on the land he rented to restore land and water ecosystems. Only after the partner had checked the safety level could Quyet plant onions.
Japanese experts will closely supervise the production process, and if care measures fail to meet their technical requirements, his products will be eliminated even before harvest. In return, if the partner's strict requirements are satisfied, the profit will be very large.
"Since it is still at the experimental stage, I have planted export onions in only 3.5 ha. The Japanese side's demand for import of farm produce will be very great if my products meet requirements," said Quyet.
"After perfecting the production process, I will expand the scale to 35 ha as committed and even 100 ha if I can maintain stable supply.
"Despite this great export opportunity, the requirements are very strict. Therefore, if I can control the production stage, the export door will be wide open."
This year, many enterprises have contacted Duc Chinh Commune Agricultural Services Cooperative (Cam Giang) to negotiate carrot consumption contracts.
Apart from enterprises purchasing carrots for distribution to large domestic supermarkets, there have been many companies exporting products to foreign countries.
According to Nguyen Duc Thuat, director of the cooperative, thanks to stable outputs, people only focus on making good quality products. Hence, their perception of production has changed a lot.
This crop, the cooperative has guided farmers to cultivate about 25 ha of VietGAP carrots. The remaining over 300 ha are for safe production. Only when production is synchronous and methodical with clean and safe products can they take the initiative in sale.
More and more intensive and extensive international integration and higher and higher export capability of enterprises have created many opportunities for winter agricultural products of the province.
However, people must change their production habits to remove product quality barriers. Only then can export markets of agricultural products be maintained and expanded.