Lam Dong province is working to promote the Da Lat potato brand. (Photo: tuoitre.vn)

Lam Dong (VNS/VNA) - The People's Committee of Lam Dong province has approved a pilot project to promote the Da Lat potato brand in an effort to combat Chinese potatoes, which claimed to be of Da Lat.

The pilot project, managed by the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, includes surveying the potato market and production activities and educating consumers on the difference between the two types of potatoes via flyers, government websites and mass media.

Businesses and individuals will be supplied with packages and carton boxes with the Da Lat potato brand logo and anti-counterfeiting stamps, which can be used to package their potatoes.

Lam Dong province aims to produce 65,000 10-kilo carton boxes, 900,000 labels, 65,000 stamps for carton boxes, and 900,000 anti-counterfeit stamps.

The project cost is 1.06 billion VND (45,800 USD), 776 million VND of which are funds from the government budget.

The province's Plant Protection Department is choosing contractors for the project.

If the pilot project for potatoes is successful, other Da Lat vegetables will receive the same treatment.

Da Lat city is one of Vietnam's largest vegetable producers, with output up to millions of tonnes.

The high quality of these vegetables is due to the favourable weather and use of advanced farming technology and techniques.

However, several businesses are buying Chinese vegetables at lower prices and quality, disguising them as Da Lat vegetables and selling them at higher prices.

For instance, Chinese potatoes are bought cheaply, then covered with a layer of red dust to disguise them as Da Lat potatoes, which are three to five times higher in value compared to Chinese ones.

During transportation, inspection and other procedures, the fake Da Lat potatoes are registered and referred to as Chinese potatoes.

Many customers in other provinces and even some people in Da Lat have fallen for this trick since it is hard to point out fake Da Lat potatoes without careful examination.

In terms of consumer trust and market prices, Da Lat potatoes have suffered greatly from the fraud. Many farmers have had to sell their potatoes at half of their original prices, incurring losses.-VNS/VNA