Agriculture fair sows the seeds for future growth

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Nguyen Khanh Tung, deputy head of Can Tho Exhibition-Trade Fair Steering Committee and head of the Can Tho Promotion Agency, talked with VIR’s Truc Giang about the event’s significance

The Vietnam International Agriculture Fair 2017 will take place in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho in from November 23-27. This is a fair of national magnitude, installed in the national trade promotion programme by the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

Could you give us a glimpse of the Vietnam International Agriculture Fair 2017?

The event is part of the 2017 national trade promotion programme which was approved by the minister of Industry and Trade via Decision No. 137/QD-BCT, dated January 16, 2017. The Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency (Vietrade) and the Can Tho Promotion Agency will act as the co-organisers. As the largest agricultural fair in the Mekong Delta region every year, the event aims to present new products as well as the latest science and technology achievements in the agriculture, forestry, and seafood fields, and projects calling for domestic and foreign investment. This lays the groundwork for building up and boosting the brand value of agricultural products in the domestic and export market, promoting trade exchanges, fuelling demand, and accelerating international economic integration.

What is the scope of this year’s event?

The Vietnam International Agriculture Fair 2017 will house more than 450 booths of 300 domestic and international businesses. On display will be a wide variety of products across the board, ranging from machinery, equipment, agricultural production lines, fertilizers, veterinary medicine, agricultural materials, and feedstock, to seedlings, saplings, biotech products, agricultural and seafood products, and processed food.

The fair will encompass diversified programmes such as technology transfer activities and specialised seminars on agricultural products, helping to boost sales and promote networking between farmers and businesses. The agenda will also include trade promotion activities of businesses partaking in the fair in the form of workshops or special sales promotion programmes, music and dance performances, and more.

Notably, the Can Tho Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has been co-operating with the Can Tho Promotion Agency to host the workshop “Developing high-tech agriculture: Opportunities and challenges”. This is an attempt to learn about the real situation and development orientations concerning high-tech agriculture applications of localities in the Mekong Delta and south-eastern region, as well as the opportunities, challenges, and measures for small- and medium-sized enterprises to invest in high-tech agriculture.

The workshop will take place on November 24, with the attendance of the leaders of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and member units under the ministry; representatives from diverse research institutes and universities; leaders of the Can Tho People’s Committee and other city-based state management bodies; the departments of Agriculture and Rural Development in localities in the Delta region, Ho Chi Minh City, and other southern locations; businesses; co-operatives; and banks.

The workshop aims to review the high-tech agriculture application situation in provinces and municipalities in the region – such as development models, capital sources, resources, and investment outcomes, and promote the sharing of experiences, measures, and orientations to improve high-tech agriculture development in the Delta region.

As the Vietnam International Agriculture Fair 2017 is a component of the 2017 national trade promotion programme, what kind of support will businesses get when partaking in the fair?

Following the prime minister’s Decision No. 72/2010/QD-TTg, dated November 15, 2010, presenting regulations on the building, management, and implementation of the national trade promotion programme, and Ministry of Finance Circular No. 171/2014/TT-BTC, dated November 14, 2014, guiding support regimes from the state budget for implementation of the national trade promotion programme, businesses participating in the event will have 50 per cent of the booth’s expense financed for them (a maximum of VND10 million – $450 – per business).

What benefits do businesses, farmers, and localities get through attending this annual event?

Annually, the event acts as an effective linkage and trade promotion channel, helping business organisations and companies to expand their market, export agricultural items, promote trade exchanges and sign high-value contracts, contribute to enhancing Vietnam’s competitiveness and integration, and in the meantime increase the export of major agricultural products of Vietnam and the Delta region in particular.

The fair has supported businesses in promoting their brand to target customers and partners, creating opportunities to find potential partners, acquiring adequate information about market development trends, bolstering co-operation to improve production technology, and from there building up well-conceived development strategies for their production and business.

This will contribute to effectively implementing Vietnam’s demand-stimulating policies, and fostering trade exchanges and co-operation for high-tech agriculture development.

Last but not least, the fair has contributed to presenting the image of Vietnam and its people as well as the investment development potential of Can Tho and other localities in the Delta region to diverse business associations, importers, and domestic and international investors.