Over the past two years, with the aim of exporting fruits to other countries, several investors in the field of agriculture in the Central Highlands have been setting up growing area codes and packing facilities.
Typically, Gia Lai Province has 55 growing area codes and 21 fresh fruit packing establishments such as mangoes, dragon fruit, jackfruit, bananas, and watermelons that are eligible for export through official channels to China, Australia, New Zealand, and the USA.
One of the outstanding farms in Gia Lai Province’s Chu Prong District is Ia Phin Farm which was granted a planting area code for more than 130ha of bananas exported to China. The farms are using production technology including drip irrigation systems, transportation systems, pre-processing houses, and packing facilities.
According to manager of Ia Phin Farm Le Huu Tin, the farm managing board determined that the registration for the issuance of a planting area code is very important to stabilize the output, so farm managers have completed the procedures for registering the planting area code and was approved in February 2022. By April, the banana garden has begun to harvest, so far 800 tons have been collected with an average price of VND20,000 per kilogram.
He revealed that thanks to being granted a planting area code, the output is stable, and the farm has sold all the fruit.
According to Mr. Dinh Van Dung, Secretary of the Chu Prong District Party Committee in Gia Lai Province, thousands of hectares for growing mango, dragon fruit, and banana are granted a planting area code. In fact, thanks to being granted a planting area code, agricultural products are favored by customers in the Chinese market, products are sold quickly, and the purchase price is also very high, bringing good economic efficiency.
Director of Gia Lai Plant Protection and Cultivation Sub-Department Tran Xuan Khai said that the issuance of planting area codes has brought many benefits to businesses. For example, when the farms in the province have not granted a planting area code, banana fetched VND5,000 a kilogram, but now it is granted a planting area code and sold abroad, the price is about VND20,000 a kilogram.
Elsewhere in the Central Highlands, Kon Tum Province has six growing area codes for bananas and jackfruit for export to China. Mr. Nguyen Hoai Tam, Director of Kon Tum Sub-Department of Cultivation and Plant Protection, said that companies currently that have been granted planting area codes are eagerly preparing the first batches of agricultural products for exporting to foreign countries.
Dr. Phan Viet Ha, Deputy Director of the Central Highlands Agriculture and Forestry Science Institute (WASI) under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that granting a planting area code is a prerequisite for official export. It is a necessary step to increase the value of agricultural products and sustainable production. However, the issuance of planting area codes is often associated with a large area in the Central Highlands; therefore, only large enterprises with big farms can be issued the growing codes.
Therefore, Mr. Ha advised people need to set up cooperatives to create large planting areas, so it is easy to meet the standards for granting planting area codes.
After being granted a planting area code, farmers ought to comply with the approved production process as well as transparent information during the production process so that buyers can trace the origin. Particularly, local administrations should facilitate the establishment of big farms with periodic supervision at establishments that are granted planting area codes to ensure that the production at this facility is in accordance with the process.
According to Mr. Kpă Thuyen, Vice Chairman of Gia Lai Provincial People's Committee, the Provincial People's Committee has asked the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to study and propose appropriate mechanisms to support the development of growing and packaging areas according to the scale of commodity production to meet the requirements of the importing country.
The provincial People's Committee also requested localities to allocate resources to coordinate with relevant units to promote the establishment and management of growing areas and local packaging facilities, including implementing drug residue monitoring programs as well as applying measures to manage plant health, maintain the quality of the planting area, the packaging facilities that have been granted the code.
The provincial People's Committee also asked localities to coordinate with specialized units to strengthen inspection of the management and use of planting area codes, and local agricultural product packing facilities. Authorities also pay attention to dealing with violations.