The Hanoitimes - According to Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong, the sector’s 1.2 percent growth in a challenging year showed the efforts of localities and farmers.
Prime Minister (PM) Nguyen Xuan Phuc attended an online year-end conference of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in Hanoi on December 26.
This year, the agriculture sector has faced many difficulties. Extreme cold spells in early this year ravaged 14 northern mountainous localities, while historic droughts devastated the south central and Central Highlands regions, and record drought and saltwater intrusion in 100 years seriously hit the Mekong Delta region. Since October, serious floods have swept through eight south central localities.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc speaks at the conference.
Natural disasters led to water shortage for about 1 million people, harming 300,000 hectares of rice fields.
According to the statistics of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, natural disasters killed 253 people and caused losses worth 39 trillion VND.
In the six months of this year, the sector’s growth suffered a drop of 0.18 percent, with falls in exports of almost all major products.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong said the sector’s 1.2 percent growth in a challenging year showed the efforts of localities and farmers.
The minister noted that exports of vegetables and fruits surpassed that of rice, hitting 2.4 billion USD, a rise of 31.2 percent year on year. Animal husbandry also witnessed a 5.4 percent increase in production value over 2015.
In 2017, the sector aims at a GDP growth of 2.5-2.8 percent in agro-forestry-fishery and 32.5 billion USD in export earnings, said the minister, adding that the sector will also raise forest coverage ratio to 41.5 percent, and the percentage of communes fulfilling new-style rural area building to 28-30 percent.
Speaking at the conference, PM Phuc pointed out that largest obstacles hindering agriculture development include land limitation, poor capacity of agricultural businesses and slow application of science and technology.
The reservoir and irrigation system has been degraded, threatening people’s lives, while inspection in agriculture has been poor, he noted.
Along with information technology and tourism, agriculture is considered a strength of Vietnam and a comparative advantage, the PM said, adding that the sector is also employing 40 percent of the population. Therefore, he stressed the necessity to pay more attention to value rather than raw volume, and strengthen the building of trade mark.
The Government leader highlighted that Vietnam’s agriculture sector, which is vulnerable to climate change, should restructure its production towards smart agriculture with strong application of science and technology, thus enhancing products’ value and increasing farmers’ income.
Addressing the conference, Vice Chairman of Hanoi People's Committee Nguyen Van Suu said that despite of many difficulties and challenges, the city's agriculture sector reached a rise of 2.21% in 2016.
According the Vice Chairman, the municipal agricultural sector produced about 1 million tons of food, 39, 000 tonnes of milk and 110,000 tons of seafood this year. Notably, the city's agriculture sector has set up many closed and clean agricultural chains and implemented the high technology application. Hanoi now pays special attention to food safety issues, he added.
Vice Chairman of Hanoi People's Committee Nguyen Van Suu makes a speech at the conference.
Vice Chairman Suu suggested that the Government should have more policies for creating favourable conditions to attract more investments from large-scale enterprises with high-tech applications in order to restructure the agriculturel sector.
Translated by Thu Minh
Source: Thien Tu-Kinhtedothi.vn