Agricultural products harvested in August face difficult consumption

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), it is expected that there will be about 1.1 million tons of agricultural products, mainly fruits, in the harvest season this month. Meanwhile, farmers and enterprises are facing many difficulties in the market and export.

On August 4, the office of the MARD informed the press that the ministry had just sent an official letter to the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) reporting on difficulties, obstacles, and risks in the production and consumption of agricultural products in the last months of this year for the MPI to summarize and report to the Government.

According to the MARD, it is forecasted that many kinds of agricultural products and fruits will be in the harvest season this month. Therefore, the risk of oversupply in production areas but shortages in localities that have to take measures to prevent the Covid-19 pandemic might occur.

"As for vegetables and fruits, it is estimated that the output in the South will be more than 1.1 million tons, while consumer demand is only 500,000 tons," the report said.

Currently, fruits with large output include mango with 40,000 tons, banana with 109,000 tons, durian with 75,000 tons, orange with 40,000 tons, longan with 405,000 tons, pineapple with 30,000 tons, and jackfruit with 10,000 tons.

The official dispatch issued by Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Phung Duc Tien said that while agricultural products are at risk of being redundant, unsalable, and devalued, the prices of input materials and raw materials of the agricultural sector continuously climb. The application of pandemic prevention measures has caused domestic production and the import of raw materials for production, such as fertilizers, plant protection drugs, and animal feed, to be limited. This situation will negatively affect farmers’ re-investment and production development plans in the last months of the year.

According to the Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, China is the traditional export market of Vietnamese agricultural products. However, this country is increasingly tightening regulations on import and export of goods, such as inspection, disinfection of goods, strengthening the management of truck drivers at border gates, and tracing the origin of goods. Thus, the time for customs clearance is often prolonged.

Meanwhile, enterprises and production facilities have been facing obstacles in credit capital to restore production and export immediately to markets when the Covid-19 pandemic is controlled or weakens.

As export orders gradually decrease, production facilities are under increasing pressure on storage costs, maintenance costs, especially cold storage to preserve agricultural products, and working capital due to high inventory.

Meanwhile, the capacity to preserve agricultural products has not met the demand yet. According to statistics, the country currently has 48 cold storage facilities that provide preservation services for agricultural and aquatic products with a capacity of about 700,000 pallets and thousands of cold storage facilities with a total storage capacity of 2 million tons of products, serving some certain markets.

"However, the current number of cold storage facilities has not met the needs of preserving agricultural and aquatic products, especially in the Mekong Delta," according to the official dispatch.