EU helps Vietnam improve safety of agricultural exports hinh anh 1Beginning October 11, the 10-day training course aims to improve the capacity of the officials so that they can better assist farmers in producing quality citrus fruit products for export. (Photo: VNA)

Nghe An (VNA) – The ARISE+ Vietnam project, funded by the EU, has coordinated with the Plant Protection Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to organise a training course for local plant protection officials. 

Beginning October 11, the 10-day training course aims to improve the capacity of the officials so that they can better assist farmers in producing quality citrus fruit products for export. 

It brought together officers from the six provinces of Thanh Hoa, Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Tri and Thua Thien-Hue, all in the central region. 

The training is part of the EU-funded project ARISE+ Vietnam which helps enhance compliance with sanitary and phytosanitary standards to improve the safety of Vietnam's agro-food products and facilitate exports to the EU.

During the course, participants will be equipped with knowledge on how to identify major citrus insects and mite pests. In addition, they will have a chance to join a field trip to local citrus orchards and receive on-site guidance.

Citrus crops in Vietnam bring about high economic values and have export potential. However, to is necessary to build the capacity of local plant protection officers to identify pest composition, symptoms and safety prevention measures. Therefore, one of the urgent requirements is to provide technical support to local technicians so that these officers can assist farmers in producing quality products for export. 

According to the Plant Protection Department, farmers face a wide range of difficulties due to the impact of pests, especially in climate change that facilitates the growth of new harmful organisms.

Nguyen Tuan Loc, Director of the Plant Protection Department in Region IV, said the trainees would be the nuclei to help farmers cultivate citrus plants and control pests safely and effectively, creating more safe products for domestic and foreign markets. 

ARISE+ Vietnam is a project funded by the European Union that contributes to integrating Vietnam's economy into the global production chain through targeted support to both public and private sectors. In addition, the EU has been assisting the Vietnamese Government in making the best use of the benefits brought about by new bilateral and regional trade commitments, focusing on the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).

Vietnam's foreign trade in agro, forestry and aquatic products hit some 74.7 billion USD in the first nine months of 2022, a year-on-year rise of 10.7%, according to the latest data released by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).

Exports earned about 40.8 billion USD while imports totalled 33.9 billion USD, up 15.2% and 5.7%, respectively, year-on-year, which means the sector's trade surplus amounted to 6.9 billion USD, doubling the figure in the same period last year.

In September alone, exports spurred 28.7% compared to the same month last year to over 4.2 billion USD. However, the figure was 8.8% lower than the previous month's.

Last month's export turnover from major agricultural products exceeded 1.8 billion USD, while those from forestry products and seafood stood at over 1.3 billion USD and 900 million USD, respectively.

During the nine months, Vietnam exported more than 16.8 billion USD worth of key agro products, a year-on-year increase of 7.5%. In addition, shipments of major forestry products valued at around 13.3 billion USD and seafood, 8.5 billion USD, up 10.8% and 38%, respectively.

Seven products with export revenue surpassing 2 billion USD each include coffee, rubber, rice, vegetables and fruits, shrimp, and wood.

A high upturn was seen in the export value of coffee (37.6%), cassava (21%), tra fish (83.3%), and shrimp (24.8%).

A downturn, meanwhile, was recorded in some others, including vegetables and fruits (11.1%), cashew nuts (14%), and livestock products (18.4%)./.