Hanoi (VNA) – The potential for the development of organic agriculture in Vietnam is still excellent and the opportunity for organic agricultural products from Vietnam to enter Australia is very promising in the near future, said Nguyen Van Kien, director of Mekong Organics Company, based in Canberra.
Mekong Organics has been selected by the Australian government to implement a project to promote the development of organic agricultural technology, certification and trade between Vietnam and Australia under the Australia-Vietnam Reinforced Economic Engagement Grant Pilot Program (AVEG).
Kien, who is also a lecturer at Australian National University and worked for 20 years at An Giang University in Vietnam, said that by accessing the reports of many new scientific studies on the organic farming industry, he realized that the potential of organic farming in Vietnam is still very important, with the current trend for the growth of the organic industry in the world, especially in the markets of the United States, Europe, Canada and Australia.
The Mekong Delta in Vietnam has many advantages for switching to ecological and organic agriculture in order to be on par with the main agricultures of the region and the world, he told the Vietnamese news agency ( VNA).
The shift from low-quality agricultural production to high-quality agricultural production was very urgent to improve farmers’ incomes as well as the environment of communities, and adapt to climate change, he said.
According to Tim Marshal, managing director of TM Organics Company and chairman of the Organic Certification Authority of the National Association of Sustainable Agriculture Australia, the market for organic agricultural products in Australia has reached 2.5 billion AUD (equivalent to almost 2 billion USD) in 2019.
This market has continued to grow, with a wide variety of products such as processed and beauty products, and clothing increasingly appearing in farmers’ markets, supermarkets, restaurants and cafes.
However, Australian domestic production has yet to meet consumer needs.
Due to lower supply than demand in the organic agricultural products market in Australia, Kien said that the potential for organic agricultural products from Vietnam to enter this market is quite high in the coming years, especially processed products such as sauces, jams, canned fruits, dried or frozen vegetables.
While processed products can be easily imported into Australia, it is difficult for raw products as they had to meet very high biosecurity requirements for imported agricultural products, he added.
Kien said the project will focus on a training course for 200 learners who are businessmen, students, farmers and lecturers on the production, processing and trade of organic agricultural products based on the l Australian experience.
During the course to be held in November this year, learners will be able to access Australian organic standards, biosafety standards when exporting to that country and information on the organic farming market.
Organizing a forum between Australia and Vietnam will also be included, he said, adding that it will provide an opportunity for farmers and businesses from both countries to introduce organic products./.