Vegetable prices plunge in northern and central regions

10:38 | 16/03/2018
After waking up at 5 a.m, Nguyen Thi Oanh, a farmer in Hanoi’s Ba Vi district, headed to the field to cut cabbages and carried them to the local market for sale.  
vegetable prices plunge in northern and central regions
Cabbages are left rotten on the field in Ha Tinh province. Due to low prices, no traders have come to buy the vegetables.

Some 40 cabbages freshly harvested on the farm filled her two baskets. But Oanh’s mood was gloomy.

“Even if they are sold out, I will earn less than VND100,000 ($4.3),” Oanh estimated.

This year, she grew nearly 1,500 square meters of cabbages, yielding some two tonnes of cabbages. Oanh estimated that if the cabbages are sold to traders, after she accounts for her spending on the seeds and the caring process, she will lose more than VND4 million ($174) in total.

Vegetable and fruit prices in the north are reported to be cheaper than ever before, local media reported afterTet(Lunar New Year) holiday.

Prices for vegetables and fruits sold at big markets in the capital city such as Dich Vong, Nhon, Mai Dich, Phung Khoang, Hom and Dai Tu have dropped by half or even three times as compared to those beforeTet.

Cabbages are sold at VND6,000-8,000 ($0.27-0.36) per kilograms, or even VND15,000 ($0.68) per kilograms at some markets. Potatoes and cauliflowers are VND8,000-10,000 ($0.36-0.45) per kilograms. Tomatoes are VND8,000-10,000 ($0.36-0.45) per kilograms. Six German turnips are sold at only VND10,000 ($0.45).

Traders of these markets said that the consumption has not surged afterTetwhile vegetable supply is plentiful, leading to lower prices.

Nguyen Thi Mai, a farmer in Song Phuong commune, Hoai Duc district, Hanoi said that never before have vegetables been as tough to sell as right now. Many families have to throw them away or bring them back home for feeding cattle.

Farmers in the central provinces are also struggling as their vegetables have remained unconsumed for weeks due to a price fall that reduces traders’ interest in buying them.

In Nghe An province, the vegetable fields of Quynh Luu, Yen Thanh and Hung Nguyen districts have been abandoned sinceTet. Farmers even pulled up cabbages to feed to their pigs.

Nguyen Thi Minh, a farmer in Quynh Luong commune, Quynh Luu district told online newspaperDan Tri,“This year farmers and traders do not bother buying vegetables as the prices are too low. Farmers suffered losses in spite of efforts and expenses.”

In Ha Tinh, farmers are harvesting their vegetables to feed pigs and cattle. Others have let the plants wither in the fields.

Nguyen Dinh Dung, a farmer in the province’s Thach Lien commune, said he had fed his vegetables to his cows as no traders came to his field afterTet.

Nguyen Sy Dan, chairman of Thach Lien commune, said favourable weather at the end of last year resulted in a bumper crop of mustard, cabbage, turnip and lettuce. But as always, a bumper crop meant a price fall as supply exceeded consumption, he said.

Farmers in Thua Thien - Hue experienced a similar situation. Vegetables produced by farmers in the province could not be consumed either due to a similar price fall.

Local farmers said the cost for each kg fell from VND25,000 ($1.1) to VND2,000 ($0.09), driving traders away from their VietGAP (Vietnamese Good Agriculture Practice) produce.

Truong Hao, a farmer in Quang Thanh commune, said he had to harvest the mature lettuce to feed pigs and attempt to save the younger plants until a price increase would allow him to sell them more profitably.

Meanwhile, in Da Lat city and Don Duong district of Central Highlands province of Lam Dong, a major supplier of vegetables for the whole country, prices of high-quality vegetables planted in the green house have decreased by half. Only good-looking and standardised vegetables can be sold.

Farmers of wards No.7 and 8 in Da Lat city and Thanh My town of Don Duong district have had to uproot vegetables to prepare for a new season.

Tran Xuan Dinh, deputy head of theDepartmentofCrop Productionunder the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development told online newspaperDan Vietthat afterTet, farmers harvested vegetables of the winter season to start a new season. The supply has surged dramatically, exceeding demand.

It is also because the favourable weather conditions of the winter-spring season increased productivity, he said.

Regarding speculation that prices for domestically grown vegetables have declined because of vegetables imported from China,Dinh said, “We usually import vegetables from China in June and July which are not Việt Nam’s vegetable seasons. AfterTet, the northern region of China is cold so it is impossible to import vegetables from China.”

Hoang Trung, head of the ministry’sPlant Protection Department,also confirmed toDan Vietthat imported vegetables have not affected domestic vegetable prices.


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