Vietnam eyes top 15 agriculture spot in 10 years

By Hung Le   January 3, 2019 | 05:40 pm PT
Vietnam eyes top 15 agriculture spot in 10 years
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc set a 3 percent growth target for the agriculture sector. Photo by Reuters/Kham
“Vietnam must strive to become a top 15 country in agriculture development in 10 years,” says PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

"In particular, the agriculture processing sector should be in the top 10," Phuc said at a conference held by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) on Thursday.

"Vietnam must strive to become a global centre for wood processing and shrimp production," he added.

The PM also set a 3 percent growth target for the whole sector (agriculture, forestry and fisheries), and a $42-43 billion export target for 2019.

Phuc asked the agriculture ministry to deploy the best measures and promote innovation to achieve targets set.

"This is a difficult and challenging task but it must be done, a political duty, if we do not do it, our people’s lives will still remain difficult," he emphasized.

In order to achieve the goals, the ministry should develop good legal institutions and remove obsolete ones, the PM said.

The ministry needs to step up efforts to restructure agricultural and rural development systems, including the creation of key national and provincial products, he added.

It should also perform well its marketing functions, namely, forecasting, assessing supply and demand, developing new markets, and brand building for Vietnamese agricultural products like rice, shrimp and wheat, in which Vietnam is "a little slow compared to Thailand and Cambodia," Phuc noted.

He called for enhanced application of science and technology, hi-tech, biotech, artificial intelligence and other technological breakthroughs of Industry 4.0.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong said that the sector will maintain its good form while undertaking comprehensive and synchronous reforms.

He said the sector still has several limitations that need to be addressed, including uneven development of different segments, limited innovation of existing processes, and inadequate managerial manpower for market regulation.

The sector would aim to build a smart industry in 2019, foster international integration, adapt to climate change, increase value additions for products and services and ensure sustainable development through building better rural areas, he noted.

Vietnam's agricultural growth had reached 3.65 percent year-on-year in 2018, the highest since 2012, according to the General Statistics Office.

Last year, the country earned $22 billion from agricultural and forestry product export, and $8.8 billion from fishery shipment, respectively increasing 10 percent and 6.3 percent over the previous year, said the office. 

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