Sixteen Government agencies, agricultural associations and companies, and others signed an agreement on August 9 to work for sustainable development of the country's agriculture.

They will join hands to make good produce and improve the quality control from the farm to the dining table to ensure better health for consumers.

They also agreed to promote and consume each other's products, Le Duy Minh, Chairman of the Vietnam Agricultural Enterprise and Farm Association, one of the 16 signatories, said.

Vo Mai, Deputy Chairwoman of the Vietnam Gardening Association, said since the Government began to encourage good agricultural practices ( GAP ), the number of samples with pesticide residues has reduced.
But the application of GAP remains modest in the country, she said, calling for an increase.

Relevant agencies should organise training courses to raise awareness among farmers about GAP so that it becomes second nature to farmers, she said.

Authorities should conduct periodic checks of GAP -certified organisations like co-operative to ensure they comply with GAP standards, and ensure outlets for GAP -certified products, she said.

The 16 signatories include the Ministry of Science and Technology, the National Agriculture Extension Centre, Vietnam Co-operative Alliance, the Vietnam Agricultural Enterprise and Farm Association, the Vietnam Gardening Association, HCM City Farmers Association, HCM City Union of Business Associations, Agriculture Business Incubation Centre of HCM City, and Nguyen Binh Manufacturing Trading Service Co Ltd.-VNA