Hai Phong Agriculture: Enhancing Added Value and Sustainable Development

11:31:20 AM | 11/12/2019

In recent years, the Hai Phong agricultural sector has stepped up guided restructuring, applied science and technology to production to make positive changes and disruptive production development and promote stable and sustainable agriculture. To understand more about these efforts, Vietnam Business Forum Magazine has an interview with Mr. Pham Van Thep, Director of Hai Phong Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. Ha Thanh reports.

Could you tell us about recent outstanding achievements in agricultural development of Hai Phong City?

To reach this development step, the sector has focused on case study and advice the Municipal People’s Council and the Municipal People’s Committee to issue policies and mechanisms such as planned zones for high-tech agriculture (Resolution 14/2017/NQ-HDND), mechanisms and policies on development support for agriculture, fisheries, rural economy and farmers’ income improvement (Resolution 13/2017/NQ-HDND); support mechanisms and policies on vegetable and fruit production development (Resolution 19/2019/NQ-HDND); and financial support for infield irrigation (Resolution 26/2019/NQ-HDND). At the same time, the sector is effectively carrying out new mechanisms and policies to engage more and more businesses invest in high-tech agricultural production. Many large corporations have chosen to invest in high-tech agriculture as an investment approach to sustainable development, including Vingoup and FLC Group. In the first eight months of 2019, four more companies carried out investment procedures to this effect. Specifically, Haphofood Joint Stock Company commenced construction of a 15.45-ha  agricultural product processing factory in Tien Lang district to process 150,000 tons a year; VinEco Company put 70% of the total area of 150 ha into stable production; Thanh Trang Agricultural Joint Stock Company invested in high-tech vegetable and fruit farming and aquaculture in a 10-ha farm in My Duc commune, An Lao district; Hien Le Co., Ltd invested in a 120-ha production farm in An Hoa, Thanh Luong, Dong Minh and Vinh Long communes of Vinh Bao district; 3T Group Vietnam Joint Stock Company negotiated a third lease of land of 250 ha in An Hoa commune, Vinh Bao district to grow high-tech banana and vegetables. A lot of individuals also invested in land lease for large-scale agricultural production.

In 2017, the agricultural sector of Hai Phong City expanded 2.15% in 2017, 2.82% in 2018 and 1.91% year on year in the first nine months of 2019.

Crop production value per hectare of land in 2018 was VND118 million, an increase of VND2.6 million over 2017 and VND5.5 million over 2016. Income per capita in rural areas in 2019 reached VND55 million. The poverty ratio reduced to 1.85%. The agricultural economic structure shifted in the right direction: Increasing the share of fisheries and reducing the share of agriculture; in agriculture, raising the share of husbandry and services; in aquaculture, raising the share of aquaculture and reducing the share of commercial fishing.

At the same time, crops and livestock have been restructured to enhance productivity and quality and applied with new technological and technological advances to improve productivity. The sector has quickly developed centralized farm production models, formed hi-tech farming zones; and achieved the production value of over VND245 million per hectare of land a year. The fishery economy is thriving in both farming and fishing, with the logistics system better organized. Its role as a major fishery center with the Gulf of Tonkin fishing ground is increasingly being asserted.

What places and fields will the sector give priority to attracting investment fund for in the coming time?

In the coming time, the sector will continue to closely stick to central and local instructions to enhance added value and sustainable development as follows.

- Completing plans, targets and criteria on new countryside construction to have 100% of certified communes by the end of 2019. Cat Hai district will be recognized as a new countryside district. Two other districts will basically fulfill all nine criteria of new countryside districts.

- Developing ecological urban agriculture in Hai Phong on the basis of the agriculture of an industrial city, tourism and services, agricultural production belts based on specific natural conditions of each locality as follows:

(1) Further attracting investment in high-tech, sustainable agricultural production, especially for An Lao high-tech agricultural area (200 ha) to rear aquatic stock, grow vegetables and fruit trees; Tien Lang hi-tech agricultural zone (140 ha) for aquaculture; and material zones for Haphofood processing factories; a high-tech livestock farming zone combined with concentrated slaughtering in Vinh Bao (20 ha), and livestock farming zone combined with slaughtering in Tu Son and Tan Phong communes of Kien Thuy district (100 ha).

(2) Focusing on building Hai Phong into a major fishing center of the country with the Tonkin Gulf fishing grounds (planned in three alluvial areas in Lap Le commune - Thuy Nguyen district; Bach Long Vi island and Cat Hai district).

(3) Building agricultural brands with traceability, improving the competitiveness of local agricultural products on domestic and foreign markets.

(4) Investing, upgrading and improving infrastructure in agricultural production areas, especially concentrated commodity production areas.

(5) Investing and building large-scale, highly feasible and scalable agricultural production models, for example, land combination to build up large-scale agricultural production areas for rice cultivation and fish rearing.

How much has the face of the countryside of Hai Phong City progressed after it adopted agricultural restructuring and new countryside construction policy?

To successfully implement the new countryside construction program, Hai Phong City necessarily connects all fields, particularly agricultural development in rural areas. Many useful lessons have been gained from changing farming practices, changing agricultural production methods towards environmental friendliness; changing small unfocused livestock farming practices near residential areas; change the habit of indiscriminate littering (especially into water); changing behaviors and environmental awareness through cleaning activity, flower and tree planting, and building a bright, green, clean and beautiful countryside landscape.

Dao Bau tourist area (an agricultural experience model), covering ​​nearly 80 ha, is being gradually shifted to fully organic farming, with a total yearly revenue of VND50 billion

By August 2019, up to 104 out of 139 communes (74.82%) completed the new countryside construction program and three districts (Cat Hai, An Duong and Kien Thuy) had 100% of communes meeting new countryside standards. On average, a commune reaches 18.2 criteria and no commune finished fewer than 15 criteria. Cat Hai district is asking the Government of Vietnam to be recognized as a new countryside district.

Thank you very much!

After consulting the Center for Agriculture and Fisheries Extension (Hai Phong Department of Agriculture and Rural Development), Dong Cam Farm in Kien Quoc commune, Kien Thuy district, managed by Mr. Nguyen Si Hung, has been converted to a high-tech production pattern (membrane greenhouse) with proven high economic performance: Total profit of nearly VND1 billion a year.