|Son La is the second largest fruit growing area in Vietnam.
For the past 20 years Nguyen Bich Ngoc, Director of the Truong Mai Trading and Service Company in Mai Son district, has been helping farmers and cooperatives sell their products in Vietnam and in foreign markets like China, Australia, and the US.
Each year the company buys from cooperatives and farms in Son La hundreds of thousands of tons of corn and cassava and thousands of tons of fruit.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the company continued to buy and resell Son La’s agricultural products. Last year 3,000 tons of mangoes and 500 tons of longans were bought and either sold in Vietnam or exported.
Ngoc recalled that they had maximized the available capacity, prepared the market and human resources, and directly helped farmers. Last year the domestic market for longans was almost frozen.
“But thanks to the province’s timely support policy, businesses and farmers collaborated to process longans, export 50 tons of mangoes to Australia, and sell farm produce on e-commerce platforms,” said Ngoc.
Eager to improve the profitability of coffee, a major product of Son La’s agriculture, Nguyen Xuan Thao, Director of the Bich Thao Coffee Cooperative, has used new coffee varieties, applied state-of-the-art technology to processing, and established links with 800 farm households to develop coffee material areas and diversify products to include coffee beans, rice coffee, pure powdered coffee, and coffee cherry tea.
Since his cooperative was established in 2017, Thao says he has taught farmers organic production methods, established standards to boost quality, developed specialty coffees to appeal to foreign markets like Germany, the UK, and the US, and built a profitable brand for coffee growers in Son La.
“I established this cooperative to build a brand for Son La coffee. My cooperative has applied transferred technology and invested in several production lines to ensure food safety and meet the standards of demanding markets,” Thao recalled.
He added that the acceptance by domestic and foreign markets has resulted in higher incomes for growers and exporters.
|Businesses in Son La have invested in several production lines to improve the values of agricultural products.
Son La has the second largest fruit growing area in Vietnam. A number of its agricultural products have the largest growing area, greatest output, and highest export value in Vietnam’s northwest region. 17 agricultural products of Son La have been exported to 21 countries and territories.
Nguyen Quoc Khanh, Chairman of Son La’s Business Association, said, “The Association and the Son La business community have closely followed the province’s guidelines for participating in investment projects to develop Son La’s agriculture, especially its fruit trees. We’ll soon have a detailed plan for connecting agricultural products with cooperatives and building a production chain linking farmers, cooperatives, processors, and exporters.”
Acording to Nguyen Thanh Cong, Deputy Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, “In a production chain without cooperatives or processors, farmers produce only for local markets.”
“Cooperatives and processors have become the drivers of agricultural production, processing and sales. These businesses create a sustainable production chain and apply high-tech to processing and post-processing to create higher-quality products,” said Cong.
To become northwestern Vietnam’s center of high-tech agricultural production and processing, Son La is promoting investment attraction and creating favorable conditions for agricultural processors and exporters who can help establish a trademark for Son La agricultural products.