Vietnam: Demand for organic on the rise

According to seminar delegates in Vietnam, demand for organic farm products has risen significantly in the country, offering good prospects for businesses investing in the field. Dr. Le Quy Kha of the Institute of Agricultural Science for Southern Vietnam (IAS) said the global market for organic food and drink increased from US$15.2 billion in 1999 to $80 billion in 2014 and was likely to continue to rise.

Globally, the amount of organic agricultural land rose significantly between 1999 and 2014 but not in Asia, including Vietnam, meaning there was potential for the region.

Successful organic models exist in Vietnam, including Thanh Xuan organic vegetables in Ha Noi, vegetable production by Organik Da Lat, and others, Kha said.

In Vietnam, organic agriculture accounts for around 2 per cent of the country's total agricultural land, he added.

Companies in the field face many challenges. For instance, there is no domestic certification organisation for organic products, and growers have to depend on foreign organisations like Control Union, IMO, AS and others, he said.

Government policies related to developing organic agriculture are still not clear. He said the Government should create transparent, clear policies that persuade farmers to switch gradually from chemical-based farming to organic agriculture to cope with international competition and safeguard thehealth of the community.

The policies in land use and credit need to be strong for farmers, enterprises, fertiliser producers and others involved in organic farming, he said.

In addition, the Government should have policies to support producers of organic products in building brands as well as offer training for farmers in cultivation techniques.

Delegates at the seminar said that increasing public awareness about the production and use of organic products was also a big challenge. They urged authorities to inform and educate the public about the issue.


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