At the ACIAR project launch (Photo: VNA)

Dong Thap (VNA) – Some 270 farmer households in the Mekong Delta provinces of Dong Thap and Tien Giang will receive support to improve their mango supply chain’s competitiveness under the Australia Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR)’s project launched in Cao Lanh city, Dong Thap province on September 19.

According to Professor Robin Robert, director of ACIAR project, mango is among advantageous products of Vietnam. However, technology, cultivation knowledge, agricultural chemical practices, export market access and participation in the value chain maintain challenges to local farmers.

Thus, the project will focus on cultivating techniques, preservation, market development, and creation of added value for local mangos through processing, he said, adding that it is designed to create more jobs and help mango growers increase incomes by forming linkages between farmers and enterprises.

Speaking at the event, Le Van Duc, deputy head of the Department of Crop Production under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that after years of cooperation between Vietnamese and Australian agencies, the “Improving smallholder farmer incomes through strategic market development in mango supply chains in southern Vietnam” project was approved in July 2018, and it will be carried out in three and a half years.

The ministry will make evaluation on the project’s mid-term report and provide the Government with consultancy on support policy for the project, he added.

Mango is among key plants of the Mekong Delta region. The country is currently home to 85,000 hectares of mango, 55 percent of which are grown in the Mekong Delta localities. Dong Thap takes lead in mango cultivation area with 9,200 hectares, and ranks second in terms of production with 95,000 tonnes per year.

Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Hung said that mango is one of the five main products in the local agricultural shakeup master plan until 2020 with vision to 2030.

The province has invested heavily in technical infrastructure, advanced technologies, good agricultural practices (GAP), post-harvest technologies, and Blockchain application to develop local mangos.

However, experts pointed out that connection between production and consumption has not been paid due attention. In addition, the mango sector is facing considerable losses and high logistic costs.-VNA