Vietnam’s agriculture sector miles behind China: official

By Ngoc Tuyen   September 8, 2016 | 05:05 pm GMT+7

Productivity is being held back by old-school farming methods and a lack of innovation.

Labor productivity growth in Vietnam's agriculture sector rose just 3.4 percent from 2000 to 2013, despite the industry being one of the driving forces behind the country's economy.

The country boasts an abundance of natural resources and long-standing farming traditions, but the outlook for the sector is bleak, according to a forum on the development of agriculture enterprises held by the Communist Party's Commission for Economic Affairs on Thursday.

Nguyen Van Binh, head of the Commission for Economic Affairs, said that Vietnam's agriculture sector has been based on human and natural resources rather than innovation for the last few decades.

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Vietnamese agriculture grows slowly compared to other countries in the region due to low productivity. Photo from VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh

“Since 1990, Vietnam's productivity growth in agriculture has been sluggish and slower than other countries in Southeast Asia as well as China and South Korea because intensive farming is no longer effective or profitable,” Binh said at the forum.

He also compared the productivity growth in Vietnam’s agriculture sector from 2000-2013 (only 3.4 percent) with China and South Korea from 1980 to 1995 (about 7.5 percent).

Binh underlined that productivity in Vietnam’s agriculture sector in 2014 reached only a third of the economy’s average productivity growth rate. This has pushed the sector into a pool of difficulties and challenges, including unsustainable development, low added value and poor food safety standards.

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