Proactive solutions needed to consume agricultural products

With China's strict control policy of agricultural products and imports in the context of China's COVID-19 epidemic, customs clearance was severely affected, causing thousands of container trucks of Vietnamese goods to be stuck at border gates in Lang Son and Quang Ninh provinces.

The Chinese side announced to stop importing dragon fruit from December 29 to January 26, 2022.
The Chinese side announced to stop importing dragon fruit from December 29 to January 26, 2022.

Faced with that situation, on December 31, the 970 Agricultural Product Connection Forum, under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, held a meeting to connect agricultural production and processing, as well as promote the domestic market.

At the forum, Deputy Director of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of Lang Son province Dinh Thi Thu said that the number of vehicles cleared at each provincial border gate is currently less than 100 vehicles per day and most of them are dried products, with very little fresh fruit.

The total number of vehicles congested in Lang Son is currently about 2,900 vehicles, which is decreasing, but the main reason is that many vehicles have been turned back to domestic consumption, especially after China announced to stop importing dragon fruit from December 29 to January 26, 2022.

Recently, Lang Son has had many policies to support businesses and long-distance drivers who are stuck at the border, such as: reduced service fees and free treatment if the driver has COVID-19. In addition, the province also regularly strengthened relations and information with Chinese localities to support agricultural product clearance.

Dinh Thi Thu also added that in the coming days, the export of agricultural products is expected to face many difficulties, especially with the approaching Lunar New Year. Therefore, the province proposed that the superior units need to organise more high-level talks to clear the traffic congestion before the Lunar New Year.

According to Le Thanh Hoa, Deputy Director of the Department of Agricultural Products Processing and Market Development, export problems at the border place requirements on the processing of agricultural, forestry and fishery products in Vietnam. Currently, a number of items such as frozen seafood and vegetables will be closely monitored by China. This is one of the main reasons why customs clearance capacity at the border gate has decreased recently.

In order to solve the problems of agricultural product congestion, Le Thanh Hoa said that the agricultural sector has organized many inspection teams, inspecting and monitoring the circulation, import and export of agricultural products at border gates and other localities, but the regulation of goods still face many difficulties. Therefore, it is necessary to focus on good consumption of products that are in season. Businesses that are capable of processing, or have preservation technology, need to participate in this process, to avoid congestion of agricultural products and a deep drop in prices.