Harvesting cabbages in Kinh Mon town, Hai Duong province (Photo: nld.com.vn)
The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) is working to connect enterprises and localities facing COVID-19 outbreaks to ensure goods are consumed, especially agricultural produce in virus-hit areas.
After Hai Duong applied social distancing across the province from February 16, the ministry worked with major distribution systems in the north such as Central Group (Big C and Go! supermarket chains), Vincommerce (Vinmart and Vinmart chains), BRG Retail (BRG Mart supermarket chain), and MM Mega Market chain to purchase agricultural products from farmers, co-operatives and enterprises of Hai Duong, the ministry said on February 22.
So far, Central Group has purchased 100 tonnes of vegetables and fruits per week from the province for consumption in its retail system. The volume is expected to increase to 200 tonnes per week soon.
This week, its GO! and Big C outlets in the North will consume about 70 tonnes of Hai Duong's agricultural products and will increase the sales until the end of the season, the group said.
MM Mega Market Vietnam has ordered 24.3 tonnes of vegetables per day from Hai Duong, including kohlrabi, cabbage and guava for its distribution systems in the central and southern regions. Vinmart has also ordered some agricultural produce.
The ministry has also worked with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, localities and enterprises to discuss solutions to remove difficulties in transportation and consumption of goods, especially agricultural products with a large output and in the harvest season, especially in Hai Duong and neighbouring provinces, it said.
According to the Hai Duong Department of Industry and Trade, most COVID-19 control stations in neighbouring provinces and cities have restricted entry from vehicles going from or through Hai Duong, leaving agricultural produce stuck and impacting farmers' livelihoods.
Localities and enterprises have complained that the implementation of the requirement for COVID-19 testing in transporting goods has many inconsistencies, leading to difficulties in consuming agricultural produce.
Difficulties transporting commodities has also affected production in the province and also other localities like Hanoi, Hai Phong and Quang Ninh because many commodities in Hai Duong are materials for processing chains at factories in the localities, according to the ministry. That will also affect the socio-economic development of many localities.
Tran Thi Phuong Lan, acting director of the Hanoi Department of Industry and Trade, said distribution systems in Hanoi are making efforts to support Hai Duong to consume agricultural produce, averaging about 100 tonnes per week.
Meanwhile, Hai Duong is implementing many measures to facilitate the transportation of agricultural produce in the harvest season.
Over the past three days, the province has prioritised the implementation of COVID-19 testing for truck drivers and returned the results within 24 hours to accelerate goods transportation, according to Hai Duong Provincial Party Secretary Pham Xuan Thang.
On February 21, Hai Duong Provincial People's Committee Chairman Nguyen Duong Thai sent a letter to Hai Phong City People's Committee to ask for permission to transport commodities from Hai Duong to Hai Phong.
To facilitate the fastest transportation of goods, especially agricultural produce and frozen goods, the Hai Phong City People's Committee was asked to allow trucks with drivers with proof of a negative SAR-COV-2 test result issued by the Hai Duong Centre for Disease Control to go to the quarantine areas between Hai Duong and Hai Phong. After that, the driver in Hai Phong will drive that truck into this city, reported the Nguoi lao dong (The Labourer) newspaper.
According to the Hai Duong Agriculture and Rural Development Department, about 4,080ha of crops with a productivity of about 90,760 tonnes are going to be harvested including more than 55,000 tonnes of onions, 50,000 tonnes of carrots and 8,000 tonnes of cabbage, kohlrabi, cauliflower and leafy vegetables.
Tran Van Quan, director of the Hai Duong Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that farmers in Duc Chinh commune, Cam Giang district had harvested more than 48,000 tonnes of carrots.
However, social distancing in Hai Duong had made it tough to transport the carrots from Duc Chinh to ports in Hai Phong.
Besides that, the pandemic had caused many localities to stop transporting agricultural products, including carrots, to Duc Chinh, for processing and packaging.VNA