Vietnam, Denmark Work Collectively for Sustainable Agriculture

10:13:55 AM | 8/22/2022

A Danish agricultural and food business delegation paid working visits to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to exchange business and cooperation opportunities with potential partners in Vietnam from August 16 to 19, 2022.

Speaking at a seminar on “Danish experiences and solutions in sustainable agri-food production” on August 17, Mr. Carsten Baltzer Rode, Chargé d'affaires, the Embassy of Denmark in Hanoi, said the working visits are part of the Embassy's efforts to restore long-term cooperation in agricultural and food sectors between Vietnam and Denmark after nearly two years of interruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Toward smart agriculture

This business delegation comprises 13 leading companies engaged in Livestock Solutions, Food Processing Technology, Raw Materials and Temperature Regulating Solutions, which are important to develop agricultural and food production towards high efficiency, green and sustainability.

“The main purpose of the visiting delegation is to share experiences and introduce proven Danish leading solutions in agriculture and food production and seek cooperation opportunities with Vietnamese agricultural and food companies,” he added.

According to Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Phung Duc Tien, the Vietnam-Danish production and food cooperation program is of great significance to Vietnam’s agricultural development.

“Vietnamese authorities and businesses can learn from Danish partners to apply to Vietnam’s context where agriculture is being developed along the value chain and sustainable production towards a smart and high-tech agriculture,” he emphasized.

After the seminar, there will be in-depth meetings and working programs for Vietnamese and Danish businesses, promising many long-term, sustainable, practical and effective cooperation, facilitating agricultural restructuring and technological innovations in food processing in Vietnam.

Sharing Vietnam's experiences, Mr. Dinh Pham Hien from International Cooperation Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that Vietnam has been carrying out the "New Vision Initiative for Agriculture" toward sustainable agricultural development. In 2010, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development established Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Working Groups and institutionalized them into the Partnership for Sustainable Agriculture in Vietnam (PSAV) in 2015.

“PSAV focuses on connecting players in the agricultural sector in order to share experience and jointly develop the value chain of Vietnamese key products under the public-private partnership, with the aim of increasing labor productivity, creating more income for farmers, and improving environmental sustainability in agricultural production,” he added.

To date, the PSAV Program has created many models of environmentally-friendly sustainable farming and increased income for farmers in eight sectors: Coffee, tea, rice, vegetables and fruits, pepper - spices, aquatic products, animal husbandry, and plant protection materials.

Some PPP cooperation models have helped increase productivity by 17%, raise income by 17% and reduce CO2 by 43% as compared to traditional models. At the same time, a number of sustainably linked value chains have been built to meet international standards such as Rainforest Alliance, 4C, UTZ (PepsiCo's potato production chain, Bayer's and Vinafood 2's rice chain, Unilever’s tea chain and pepper chain).

Cooperation in building pork value chain

Mr. Troels Vensild, Director of the Center for International Cooperation, the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration (DVFA), said that Danish companies are the most sustainable food producers in the world. Public-private partnerships are time-honored close cooperation among businesses, academia, research institutes and professional bodies in Denmark.

“Collaborating important partnerships with the private sector in different roles, Danish private companies are experts in optimizing resources in the production chain. Governmental agencies are responsible for building a coherent administration system, adequate legislation, and an effective supervision and inspection system," he added.

Madam Sanne Høj Andrén, Counselor for Agriculture and Food, Embassy of Denmark, said, in 2015, Vietnam was one of the first countries to enter into the Program for “Strategic Sector Cooperation on food safety in the pork value chain” (SSC) initiated by Denmark. To date, SSC has engaged 18 countries and 21 Danish governmental agencies to carry out 40 projects now.

SSC Program in Vietnam, with the first phase from February 2017 to December 2019, supported the Department of Livestock Production to develop a new draft chapter on farm-level animal feed management in the Law on Livestock and assisted the Department of Animal Health to work out a draft circular on the prescription of veterinary drugs.

The second phase 2, to be implemented from April 2020 to December 2023, is highlighted with the following key results: Circular on the prescription of veterinary medicines dated November 9, 2020; draft guidelines for inspection of feed factories under Law on Animal Husbandry; and circular on traceability and recall dated December 20, 2021.

The third phase, expected to be executed in 2024 - 2026, puts forth tasks to support making decrees and circulars on veterinary drugs; carrying out the new National Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance’ and a decree on traceability in the pork value chain.

Speaking at the workshop, Mr. Troels Jakobsen, Commercial Counselor at the Embassy of Denmark, said Danish food and agricultural companies have been constantly investing in equipment and production solutions to boost output and improve product quality while consuming less water and energy.

“Today, we produce more than three times as much food as Danish people can consume, with the lowest greenhouse gas emissions in Europe. Danish companies and experts are very willing to share innovative ideas and technologies with their Vietnamese partners as well as seek opportunities for joint effective and sustainable business cooperation,” he added.

Mr. Dinh Pham Hien, International Cooperation Department (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development)

"Through the PSAV Program, the National Sustainable Production Documentation Kit developed in Vietnam has been scaled to several industries in some countries such as Indonesia, the Philippines and Myanmar. Harvard University built the PSAV model - a typical PPP cooperation in agriculture in Southeast Asia."

Source: Vietnam Business Forum