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Don’t blame merchants for higher prices: ministry

Reporting on the effects of the Prime Minister Directive 16 in southern provinces, Taskforce 970 said that production and consumption of farm produce have become stable but prices of some seafood, poultry meat and pork have begun increasing again.



Taskforce 970 is in charge of coordinating producers and distributors of farm produce for southern provinces amid the pandemic.

As of August 16, there were 1,200 farm produce and food supply sources registered with the taskforce. The website connecting supply and demand has 1,009 units registered to sell goods and 206 units to buy, 47 state supporting agencies, and 39 organizations supporting farmers.

Most of the farm produce provided by the units have VietGAP (the Vietnamese Good Agricultural Practices) certificates or higher levels. All products have been sold and there have not been enough VietGAP products to sell.

At a recent meeting, representatives of agriculture departments of 13 provinces and cities in Mekong Delta said the consumption of farm produce has improved and the congestion seen in the first days of social distancing no longer exists.

However, they said that transport is still facing difficulty, leading to problems in harvesting and collection. This explains why the prices of farm produce have moved up a little, but have not reached the expected levels.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Minh Hoan said the agriculture sector has never experienced such a difficult period. The farm produce supply chain has been disrupted seriously.

However, he said this is an opportunity to reconsider the supply-demand link.

Involved parties need to focus on production and improve the yield, but also increase connectivity between producers and consumers.

“We need to change the view about supply-demand connectivity,” Hoan said.

The Taskforce 970 piloted the farm produce trading floors, which the Minister praised. He asked to deploy the model quickly, so that provinces can have updated information.

Through online trading floors, enterprises do not have to go directly to material growing areas, but still have information about production and farm produce.

Hoan said one of the problems now is information ambiguity. However, with the trading floor, information will be transparent.

He suggested that provinces gather merchants in groups who act as a bridge between producers and consumers, and put them under management as partners.

Merchants play an important role in goods distribution and they should not be blamed for pushing up selling prices.

Tam An

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