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Efforts made to promote sale of crops in virus-hit provinces

Efforts are being made to promote the sale of crops, fruits and meat of farmers in coronavirus-hit provinces, including the two hardest-hit Hai Duong and Quang Ninh, as the Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday nears.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the total winter crop area which had not been harvested was more than 7,830 ha, or 35 per cent of the northern province’s total crop area. In Kinh Mon district, there was about 3,500 ha of onion, 350 ha of carrot in Nam Sach and 400 ha in Cam Giang, 200 ha of vegetables in Gia Loc, 200 ha in Tu Ky and 400 ha in Kim Thanh.

In Quang Ninh, the total unharvested crop area was more than 2,000 ha, mainly potato, corn and vegetables with a total yield of about 30,000 tonnes.

The ministry said that it was important to raise solutions to promote the sale of farm produce for farmers in locked-down areas.

The ministry said that prices of farm produce in Hai Duong had decreased by around 10-20 per cent since the outbreak of virus clusters late last month.

Nguyen Nhu Cuong, Director of the ministry’s Department of Crop Production, the sale of carrot and potato was the most difficult at the moment because these two products had high output volume while domestic consumption accounted for just 10 per cent and the rest must be exported.

The capacity of cold storage in Hai Duong was limited, which would be a problem if the virus was not put under control before Tet, he said.

He added that the transportation of goods to/from locked-down areas was very difficult. Local markets were also tightening disease control measures.

Hanoi, Hai Phong and Quang Ninh were the major markets for the consumption of Hai Duong’s farm produce. However, these provinces were banning all vehicles and people from Hai Duong, which affected the consumption. Wholesalers from other provinces did not want to come to Hai Duong to collect farm produce with hesitation over the virus and worries that they must practice social distancing.

According to Hai Duong Province Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, around 128,000 tonnes of vegetables, meat and fish in the province were waiting for consumption.

In that context, it was important to promote consumption in the province, increase storage and implement processing for longer preservation, the ministry said.

It was a must to apply prevention measures following the guidance of the Ministry of Finance when transporting products out of the virus-hit areas, the agriculture ministry said.

At the same time, preparations must be made for the next cultivation season.

Recently, Quang Ninh Province Department of Industry and Trade helped connect for the sale and 17 million potatoes, worth 153 million VND (6,600 USD).

Six enterprises also bought more than 10,000 chickens for farmers in Chi Linh city./