500 ha safe vegetable production in 6 provinces in the North of Vietnam.
The project began July 2010 on a combined area of 500 hectares in six northern localities including Hung Yen, Ha Nam, Quang Ninh, Thai Binh, Hoa Binh and Haiphong, with its major products being cabbage, kohlrabi, and cauliflower.
The Project will last for about three and a half years farmers were trained how to properly use pesticides and chemical fertilizers. This helps both save costs and protect the environment. This is the cooperative project between Vietnam and Japan has helped set up the Basic GAP process for safe vegetable production, which gives farmers simpler technical requirements.
GAP-based vegetable production projects have faced difficulties during the implementation stemming from complicated procedures and uncertain markets for participants. However, demand for safe vegetables continues to rise along with food safety concerns.
In response to the situation, the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) recently issued guidance for the implementation of the Basic GAP, which is based off of the VietGAP process, but simpler and easier to practise while still ensuring food safety.
The Basic GAP process was set up with technical assistance from the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in order to help enhance safe vegetable productivity and improve quality.
The new process requires participating farmers to comply with only 26 requirements, while VietGAP had 65.
According to the Deputy Director of the MARD’s Department of Plantation: “Public awareness has been gradually heightened and many were happy to produce safe vegetables with less investment”. Nguyen Thi Vang, Deputy Director of Ha Nam provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development said, “Previously farmers used pesticides and chemical fertilizers improperly, without concern for food safety or the impact on the environment. Now, they know how to buy the correct pesticides for specific circumstances, so they can save on expenses." She also noted that Basic GAP input costs are more than 5% lower than normal, but economic value is around 8% higher, adding that the sales prices would be higher when they were properly labelled.
“Vegetables produced under the Basic GAP process are safe enough for Vietnamese consumers, but might not to be suitable for export to Japan right now. When Vietnamese farmers are familiar with the first 26 criteria they can choose to add further requirements to qualify for VietGAP, and then comply with the even stricter requirements of some foreign markets,” Yamatomo Satoshi, JICA’s senior agricultural adviser said.