The Hanoitimes - The Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc targeted the growth rate in Vietnam’s agricultural sector to be at 3%, while export value for agricultural products to reach 40 billion USD.
On January 4, the Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc attended the meeting held by the Ministry of Agriculture & Rural Development on the performance of the sector in 2017 and its plan in 2018. In 2017, the agricultural sector has attained 7 significant results, in which, the total export value reached an all time high of 36 billion USD. In 2018, the sector set the target of growth rate in range of 2.8 – 3%; with export value up to 37 – 38 billion USD.
Speaking at the meeting, the Prime Minister stressed the government’s priority in the agricultural sector, as well as its important contribution to the socio-economic development. In 2017, GDP of the agricultural sector up 2.9%, contributing 0.44 percentage points to the overall GDP growth rate. In particularly, for the first time, export value of vegetables and fruits has exceeded that of rice and crude oil, resulting in trade surplus for agricultural sector of 8.55 billion USD. Moreover, agricultural sector also contributed 10 categories of goods in the list of billion – dollar – exported goods.
The Prime Minister set target for agricultural export value at 40 billion USD in 2018.
In the coming time, the agricultural sector will continue its restructuring process, as the labor productivity is still lagging behind neighboring countries. At present, the agricultural sector only amounted to 16% of GDP, but over 42% of the total labor force.
the sector is experiencing a low quality of growth, as shown by low profits for smallholder farmers, considerable under-employment among agricultural workers, unreliable product quality and food safety, and limited technological or institutional innovation. Agricultural growth has mostly involved an increase in cropping areas or more intense use of inputs (such as fertilizers) and natural resources (such as water). As such, it is necessary to have policies to address the challenges. The government can deploy an effective combination of improved regulations, better incentives and streamlined services to stimulate and monitor a greener agriculture and a more effective food safety and consumer protection system. It can help with policy instruments to better manage agriculture related risks, as well as create and maintain a favorable enabling environment for agribusiness. In a more flexible, market-driven, and knowledge-based agriculture system, reducing direct state involvement will make the modernization of the Vietnamese agro-food system smoother.
For large enterprises working in agriculture, it is necessary to help them foster branding and enlarge to become the spearhead. This policy targets enterprises of all economic sectors and encourages them to invest in agriculture, fishery and forestry industries. Other businesses will invest in rural areas.
As such, the Prime Minister set the target of the growth rate in Vietnam’s agricultural sector to be at 3%, while export value for agricultural products to reach 40 billion USD. With this being said, there should be changed in the mindset with focus on high tech, smart and green agricultural production. On the other hand, it is vital to have a more substantial progress in close relation with new growth model.