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Vietnam to Boost Farm Produce Sales Through E-Commerce Platforms

Image credit: Ministry of Information and Communications

The Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) has approved an e-commerce plan that aims to boost the sale of farm produce and accelerate distribution to avoid congestion during harvesting season. It will keep farm produce prices stable and eliminate intermediary merchants. Two sites, Postmart and Vo So, have been assigned to place farm produce on sale, thus promoting the digital economy in agriculture and rural development.

Through e-commerce sites and digital platforms, farming households will receive useful information about farm produce markets, predicted demand and production capacity, weather forecasts, and seed and fertilizer supply. High-quality input materials and tools for agriculture production will be introduced to farmers via the platforms, according to a press release.

MIC stressed that e-commerce platforms are an important solution to develop the digital economy in agriculture and rural development. MIC has asked provincial and municipal authorities to create favourable conditions for Vietnam Post and Viettel Post, the owners of the two e-commerce sites, to implement the plan. Farmers will be trained in digital skills. They will learn how to operate in the digital environment; how to register accounts to display products on the sites; and how to register online payment accounts and implement the process of packaging, connection, and delivery.

The result of the work will be measured by the number of farming households trained, the number of households having sale accounts/stalls on e-commerce sites, and the number of households with e-payment accounts. The support in boosting sales will be carried out through advertising farm produce on modern distribution channels based on digital platforms, expanding the domestic and international markets, and speeding up the distribution of farm produce to avoid congestion.

The plan also allows people in Vietnam and overseas to buy products quickly even amid restricted travel because of COVID-19. Particularly, it will help farming households develop their own brands, ensuring the quality of farm produce. Production households will receive information about farm produce markets and predicted demand and production capacity. This is the first time that ministries, branches, and local authorities have joined forces to help boost farm produce with a MIC-initiated project.

In the first quarter of the year, 7,987 households entered e-commerce sites, up by 191% over the same period last year. More than 14,590 products were put up for sale, up by 268%. The total transaction value went up by 293%.

Digital transformation has played an important role in promoting the growth of businesses and the retail sector, in particular. Data from the General Statistic Office show that in the first six months of 2021, total retail sales of goods and services went up 4.9% compared to the same period in 2020 to VND 2,463.8 trillion (over US$ 107 billion), of which goods retail revenue went up 6.2%. According to a report by OpenGov Asia, the results could be attributed to the fact that the people, household businesses, and firms have been quick to adapt their business operations to the new normal situation amid the pandemic and actively apply technological solutions in trading and payment.

The application of new technology such as the Internet of Things (IoT), big data, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning have allowed businesses to provide customer services with unique and valuable experiences, optimising management strategies as well as supply chain, hence improving revenue.

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