Farm Produce Still Big Forex Earner

9:54:45 AM | 6/13/2022

Although Vietnam is still facing numerous difficulties and challenges, especially natural disasters and epidemics which are complicated and unpredictable, the agricultural sector still achieves very positive outcomes. 

Agricultural sub sectors have grown quite high from a year ago. Notably, agricultural exports grew by 16.8% year on year. In the Q&A session of the National Assembly, Deputy Prime Minister Le Van Thanh put emphasis on agriculture and rural development. 

In his report on some matters of interest to the lawmaking National Assembly, he said, after 30 years of renovation initiated by the Party, the agricultural sector has made long strides in all fields, made important achievements and helped improve people's material and spiritual life. 

Upholding those important achievements, in the first five months of 2022, the agricultural sector continued to achieve very outstanding results despite numerous difficulties and challenges, especially natural disasters and epidemics which were complicated and unpredictable.

All fields staged high growth from a year ago. Most prominently, agricultural exports expanded by 16.8%. Vietnam's black pepper continued to be the world's largest while its coffee export ranked second on the globe. Rice exports reached nearly 3 million metric tons, up 10.3%. The country earned US$1.4 billion from fruit and vegetable exports; US$4.79 billion from seafood exports, up 46.3%; and US$7.2 billion from woodwork exports, up 6.9%. These very encouraging results reaffirmed that agriculture is always the backbone of the economy. 

Besides, the agricultural sector has a lot of weaknesses. Deputy Prime Minister Le Van Thanh said Vietnam's agriculture is characterized by a variety of products such as rice, fruits, livestock and seafood, but its export shipments are confronting many difficulties, especially in major markets where high quality is required. The main reason for this is there are not many large-scale agricultural areas supported by advanced technologies to meet market standards and conditions. 

Many agricultural products are low in quality. Farmers cannot control their important inputs for agricultural production such as plant varieties, livestock, production materials, animal feeds, fertilizers, and supplies. Agricultural labor productivity is still very low, equal to only 50-60% of that in advanced countries. 

The Deputy Prime Minister pointed out that 60% of raw materials for animal feed production must be imported and 42% for fertilizer production. Farmers have not found the solution to prices of farm produce when they enjoy a bumper crop, while traders have not solved frequent export congestions at northern border gates.

As for some solutions for the coming time, Deputy PM Thanh emphasized that all levels and branches of government from central to local levels need to adhere to resolutions of the 5th Meeting of the 13th Party Central Committee on agriculture, farmers and rural areas, on innovation, the efficiency of collective and cooperative economies, and institutions and policies on land management and use. 

At the same time, the Vietnamese Government will focus on directing the implementation of some key tasks and solutions. 

First, reforming agricultural production and business from investment, research and breeding stages to material area planning stages to form large-scale agricultural production areas. 

Second, stepping up trade promotion and negotiation to soon officially export agricultural products to major markets, gradually reduce unofficial exports, and limit freight congestion. 

Third, providing credit support, exempting and reducing taxes to attract businesses to invest in the production of agricultural materials and fertilizers; encouraging them to invest in the agricultural processing industry. 

Fourth, reviewing and assessing the overall demand for raw materials, food processing, livestock and animal feed production to plan the construction of production areas for the animal feed industry. 

Fifth, focusing on directing and summarizing proposals to amend and supplement the Land Law, developing mechanisms and policies, unlocking land resources, and creating favorable conditions to support farmers to effectively use the land for agricultural production to address land abandonment of agricultural land by local residents in some localities; accelerating the implementation of the National Target Program. 

By Vietnam Business Forum