Advancing Commercial Agricultural Production

11:10:39 AM | 4/3/2020

Hoa Binh province is speeding up agricultural and forestry restructuring, building specialized cultivated areas and forming many branded products in the market. To find out about this issue, Vietnam Business Forum Magazine has an interview with Mr. Vuong Dac Hung, Deputy Director of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of Hoa Binh province. Ngo Khuyen reports.

Could you tell us how Hoa Binh has striven to promote the development of agriculture and forestry production in the area?

In the past five years, Hoa Binh province reviewed, adjusted and established nine new product development plans, namely aquaculture planning, livestock planning, concentrated organic vegetable planning, concentrated organic orange production planning, regional planning and hi-tech agricultural application area planning.

The province also proactively defined and selected products to develop and issued 25 projects on sector, field and product development. At the provincial level, five projects were launched: Improving mixed gardens, development red pomelo planting, centralized agricultural extension, sustainable breeding and key agricultural product development based on value chains and high-quality seedling programs. Districts/cities issued promulgated 19 product development projects based on the local strengths; integrated capital of the National Target Program and the Socioeconomic Development Program with agricultural structuring; and strengthened forms of economic cooperation development to establish sustainable commercial agricultural production.

In addition to effectively using the central budget, the province has allocated an average of VND20 billion a year to carry out resolutions and policies on agriculture, thus promoting development of centralized production regions.

In recent years, Hoa Binh province has made a lot of efforts to synchronously execute solutions and achieve significant steps in agricultural restructuring, thus gradually building modern, sustainable agriculture, increasing added values, and adopting large-scale agricultural production by promoting comparative advantages in geographical position and natural resources to meet market needs.

At the Hoa Binh Investment Promotion Conference on December 11, 2018, the Prime Minister suggested that Hoa Binh should focus on developing high-tech agricultural production and competitive products. How has the province materialized those suggestions?

Developing high-tech agriculture and advantageous agricultural products has always been a focus of Hoa Binh province. This is reflected in Hanoi region development planning; provincial momentum development planning, three regional plans and 11 hi-tech agricultural application zones.

After the Prime Minister put forth suggestions at the Hoa Binh Investment Promotion Conference in 2018, the province worked out a list of 18 types of projects prioritized for investment encouragement, identified 14 regions in need of production linked with enterprises, launched a list of five key products to encourage investment (high quality rice; orange and grapefruit; great cattle; fish farming; and construction timber); promulgated a list of agricultural commodity lines and domains (cultivated products: organic vegetables, citrus fruits, sugarcane, medicinal plants, high-quality rice; husbandry products: buffalo, crossbred cow, crossbred goat, native pig, backyard chicken, cage fish; forestry products: big timber trees, non-timber forest products).

In order to foster investment in agriculture and rural areas, the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has actively coordinated with departments and branches to proactively guide enterprises to change forest use purposes and carry out irrigation projects. In late 2019, the province had 141 agricultural investment projects, including six FDI projects, 135 DDI projects.

It is still hard to draw investment capital into agriculture and forestry. So, how has Hoa Binh province planned to bolster local agriculture and rural development in the current period?

Agricultural and forestry investment is still at high risk of impacts from natural disasters and market development, while the profitability is lower than other sectors. Besides, due to the fragmented land resulted in difficulty in applying high-tech to agricultural production, easy break of production linkages in case of strong market price changes. Besides, there are a lot of procedures to get an investment license such as study, investment approval, land-use appraisal, planning license, planning task appraisal, planning project approval and construction permit granting.

Clearly understanding these advantages and difficulties, Hoa Binh province is forming key agricultural production areas to ensure sufficient inputs for local processing factories. The province has also introduced a lot of incentives and policies for processing enterprises with contracts to link key agricultural production; and sharpened competitiveness of certified traceable organic agricultural products to expand potential markets. Hence, Hoa Binh attracted enterprises to join forces in agricultural production and export; and sped up agricultural investment through mass media, internet, trade fairs, conferences, international cooperation and forums at home and abroad.

How have you been mobilizing community resources, especially businesses, for implementing the National Target Program on New Countryside Construction in recent years?

In recent years, Hoa Binh province has synchronously implemented such solutions as issuing separate mechanisms and policies in building new trade centers to improve production and business environment, attracting enterprises to invest in agriculture and new countryside construction, promoting communication and advocacy to raise public awareness in new rural construction.

However, mobilizing community resources, especially from enterprises, still faces a lot of difficulties. In 2011-2020, the total fund mobilized for new countryside construction reached VND22,295 billion, of which only VND728 billion came from enterprises, accounting for 3.3% and VND2,469 billion was sourced from the community, accounting for 11%, because of poor agricultural and rural infrastructure, unfavorable business environment, limited human resource management and market access. Moreover, agricultural and rural area investment has low profit, high risk, and low added value. In addition, the inconsistent policy system, limited capacity of grassroots officials and slowly disbursed funding discouraged enterprises from joining the cause of new countryside construction.

Vietnam Business Forum