Agriculture minister expedites safe tea production hinh anh 1Illustrative image (Source: VNA)

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat called for the reorganisation of safe tea production to increase its value as well as farmer income at a conference held in the northern province of Thai Nguyen on August 18.

Although Vietnam is the fifth largest tea exporter globally, its tea quality has not been appreciated, the minister underscored, adding that efforts must be made to ensure hygienic and safe tea products.

The country is currently home to 132,000 hectares of tea plantations with the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong being the biggest producer, followed by the northern provinces of Thai Nguyen, Ha Giang, Phu Tho and Yen Bai. Stellar growth in tea productivity has been seen in Thai Nguyen, Lam Dong, Tuyen Quang and Nghe An provinces. 

Some 197 tea producing bases nationwide with over 9,300 hectares have received VietGAP certification. However, techniques for safe tea production have not proved efficient as little attention has been paid to input materials, especially protection products in tea leaves. 

Nguyen Xuan Hong, Head of the Plant Protection Department, said that it is crucial to reorganise tea production given pestilent insects on tea leaves should not be difficult to eliminate. 

Material collected through numerous intermediaries not only results in high production cost but also affects tea quality, reducing the competitiveness of Vietnamese tea in foreign markets. In addition, tea production training for farmers has not been a priority in many localities, restricting tea production quality and safety improvements.

Minister Phat said that localities and enterprises need to support farmers to reorganise tea production while offering practical solutions to improve tea hygiene and safety.-VNA