Illustrative image (Photo: VNA)

Quang Nam (VNA) – Developing chains of agricultural products in tandem with building labels and brand names was the focus of discussion at a forum in the central province of Quang Nam on April 28.

The event was jointly organised by the National Centre for Agriculture Encouragement and the Quang Nam provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

According to the Department of Processing and Trade of Agricultural Products under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Vietnam is among leading agricultural producers in the world.

The agricultural sector has eight products earning over one billion USD from exports, namely coffee, rubber, rice, aquatic products, cashew nuts, peppers, fruits and vegetables, wood and wood products.

Numerous agricultural products have been available at home and abroad with labels and geographical indicators.

However, 90 percent of Vietnam’s agricultural exports are crude products, resulting in lower values, said Vo Thi Ly, Deputy Director of the Authority.

Besides, over 80 percent of the nation’s agricultural products are yet to have brands, logos, labels. Most of them are shipped abroad under foreign brand names, Ly added, stressing that it is a major disadvantage for domestic farm produce.

Acting Director of the National Centre for Agriculture Encouragement Tran Van Khoi pointed to the trend in recent years towards the development of agricultural production chains based on connection among farmers, cooperatives and enterprises, and the formation of large zones specialized in key crops.

However, Vietnam’s agricultural production overall remains small-scaled, limiting the sector’s competitive capacity, according to Khai.

He noted that while the free trade agreements Vietnam have signed help expand agricultural export markets, they also bring increasing competition.

Khai underlined the strategic need for promoting and increasing competitiveness for Vietnamese agricultural products, including developing brands and securing their foothold on both the domestic and overseas markets.

Participants pointed to difficulties hindering the building of brand names for agricultural products, such as the lack of a master plan to guide localities, enterprises; changing regulation and poor market research. 

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development aims to develop a programme on developing brands for key agricultural products by 2020, with immediate priority given to mangoes, dragon fruits, tea, coffee and tra fish.-VNA