Vietnam’s agricultural industry simply provides raw inputs for the global value chain, as up to 80 per cent of local agricultural products are sold around the world under foreign brand names, Mr. Hoang Quang Phong, Vice President of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI), told an agriculture forum on October 8 in Hanoi. “This means that Vietnam is only involved in the stage that has the least value in the global agricultural value chain,” he said.

Speaking at the “Vietnamese Businesses: Links to Participate in Global Agricultural Value Chains” forum organized by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) in collaboration with VCCI, Mr. Phong went on to say that Vietnam is the 15th largest agricultural exporter in the world and its products are found in nearly 190 countries and territories, in particular coffee, cashew nuts, pepper, tea, and rice.

The government attaches great importance to strengthening links, considering it the primary solution in increasing added value in the agricultural value chain and it has adopted many supportive policies, according to Mr. Nguyen Van Trung from the Department of Cooperative Economics and Rural Development at MARD.

There are now 2,975 agricultural cooperatives participating in linking production and product consumption with 1,082 enterprises.

There are 1,254 chains nationwide certified with 1,452 products. The country as a whole has 3,172 points of sale for agricultural products within the value chain, of which 469 business points have been granted certificates on safe food supply.

However, according to the State Bank of Vietnam’s Economic Sector Credit Department, the current organization of production remains limited due to weak cooperation and links, too few safe agricultural chain models, a lack of coherent association contracts, and continual violations of joint contracts. These also make it difficult for credit institutions to control cash flow when lending to chains.

In order to improve added value in Vietnam’s agricultural value chain, MARD has presented a number of solutions: (i) Promote the spread of information regarding links associated with production, on linking production with the consumption of agricultural products and standards, and market information (prices, market forecasts, etc.); (ii) Strengthen the application of standards to improve product quality, ensure food safety, and build brands; (iii) Conduct trade promotion, market expansion, and trademark registration and protection, organize distribution businesses, supermarkets, food chains, processing enterprises, and exporters with production areas, and guide cooperatives and farming households on methods of preservation, purchasing, preliminary processing and packaging, stamping, and labeling.

Mr. Park Hyang Jin, General Director of the Dreamfarm Company from South Korea, told VET that Vietnamese enterprises need to invest in technology, from production to processing, packaging, and consumption of products, and ensures that this entire process is properly controlled under regulations. Enterprises could then contribute to improving the value of agricultural products and participate in the global agricultural value chain.