The Hanoitimes - Better credit policies and higher consumption of farming products are necessary to ensure efficient use of funds borrowed for high-tech agricultural projects, experts said at a seminar in Hanoi on July 4.
These are tasks for the Government and enterprises respectively, they added. The seminar was organised by the Vietnam Farmers’ Association, the State Bank of Vietnam and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
According to the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), total outstanding loans for hi-tech agriculture have reached nearly 32.34 trillion VND. The loans have been given to 4,125 customers, 3,957 individuals and 168 enterprises.
Nearly 27.74 trillion VND (about 86 percent) of these loans were given to high-tech agricultural projects and the remaining 4.602 trillion VND to clean agriculture projects. There was no bad debt, the central bank said. A number of large-scale high-tech projects have begun operations, involving the breeding of cows, horticulture and fruit and vegetable exports.
The Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development has committed to a 50 trillion VND soft loan package for hi-tech and clean agriculture programmes and projects. Loans under this package will be given at interest rates 0.5-1.5 percent lower than normal lending rates.
Despite this, the reality was that encouraging high-tech and clean agriculture was fraught with risk, especially without stable consumption markets, the experts said. They added that there were not enough tools in the country to distinguish and protect high-tech and clean agriculture projects from normal ones. There was also a lack of guidance on the granting of ownership certificates for assets on agricultural land, including greenhouses and other facilities, the seminar heard.
Le Thanh, Director of the Institute of Organic Agriculture Economics and General Director of the Ket Noi Xanh Joint Stock Company, said that hi-tech agriculture is a mode of production, not an economic model, so it must be closely linked to new value chains.
For instance, "if an enterprise has an investment of 3-4 trillion VND for high-tech agriculture projects without a market, this will turn into a debt for banks, businesses and investors. The value chain will only succeed if farmers can frequently access transparent, accurate, updated market information," he said.
Thanh also said the State should pay attention to building mechanisms and creating conditions for investors for developing supply chains. This would create the benefits of tax collection and job creation, he added. The State should, therefore, issue support policies for clean agriculture production and improve the quality of agricultural development.
To support the development of adequate distribution systems, the agriculture ministry cooperated with other agencies and sectors to develop policies on credit, commercial infrastructure, land, tax, production, processing and post-harvest preservation, said Hoang Anh Tuan, deputy director of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Domestic Market Department.