Agriculture needs breakthrough solutions, say NA delegates

Wednesday, Nov 04, 2020 19:51

National Assembly delegate Bui Thanh Tung

With the recently-gained export value of US$41 billion, the agriculture sector has become the "pillar" of the Vietnamese economy as the country is facing negative impacts from the global economic crisis, COVID-19 and natural disasters. On the sidelines of the 10th session of the National Assembly (NA), delegates talk with VietnamPlus online newspaper about solutions to promote the sustainable development of agriculture.

National Assembly delegate Bui Thanh Tung, a member of the NA Committee on Science, Technology and Environment and Deputy Head of the Hai Phong City NA delegation.

As the economy faces difficulties due to impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and natural disasters, how do you evaluate the pillar role that the agricultural sector has played in the country's socio-economic development?

Viet Nam’s agricultural sector has made breakthrough development steps. We have for the first time seen the farmers' mindsets shifting from small-scale production to commodity production.

This is the result of a long process, but it more significant recently. Almost all of our agricultural products have Certificate of Quality codes and Conformity to Regulation stamps, which are the key points for domestic agricultural products to be successful on the domestic market and take advantage of export markets, especially when Viet Nam joins many agreements such as the EU-Viet Nam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA).

The export figure of $41 billion has affirmed the role of agriculture in the country’s economy, which is suffering a lot of negative impacts from the global economic crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic. I think the agricultural sector has become the pillar of the economy.

Therefore, building an agricultural sector with sustainable commodity production will effectively support farmers, especially in areas with difficult economic conditions and affected by storms and floods.

If we implement good restructuring, focusing on the production of agricultural products, we will ensure food security and give people new livelihoods to overcome the impacts.

What do you think about the improvement of science and technology in agriculture, which has promoted domestic production and exports of Viet Nam’s agricultural sector?

Having experienced managing science and technology tasks, I think that in the agricultural field, the application of science and technology has brought about the most effective results. All of our agricultural products today have applied scientific and technological advances.

We have never had so many agro-product processing facilities at present. We have more than 60 production and processing factories inaugurated. That is not only a success but also the positive impact of science and technology.

We need to pay more attention to the synchronous application of scientific research and technology in the field of agricultural and aquatic production. It is necessary to build a synchronous production chain among farmers, households and cooperatives, businesses, market supply chains and State agencies to create a commodity agricultural sector, serving domestic demand and exports to international markets, including difficult ones.

NA Delegate Huynh Thanh Canh

NA Delegate Huynh Thanh Canh, Standing Deputy Secretary of Binh Thuan Province’s Party Committee, Head of Binh Thuan NA Delegation, and member of the NA Economic Committee

Although agriculture has played a very important role in socio-economic development, it is vulnerable to rain and flooding. What solutions should be taken to minimise these impacts?

I think that, despite the difficult circumstances, the agricultural sector has achieved positive results, especially in 2020.

If there were no natural disasters, storms, floods and saline intrusion, the agriculture sector would have achieved higher results and really acted as the pillar of the country's economy. This was also clearly demonstrated when the COVID-19 pandemic occurred.

In the face of the unpredictable changes of the current climate, I think it is necessary to re-evaluate the impacts of natural disasters on agriculture in order to restructure production and provide appropriate solutions. Along with that, we need to have investment policies supporting affected areas to help local residents develop production.

I think that with the consensus of the State and the industriousness and creativity of Vietnamese farmers, our agriculture will continue to develop.

NA Delegate Hoang Duc Thang

NA Delegate Hoang Duc Thang, Head of Quang Tri NA Delegation and member of the NA Committee for Social Affairs

For areas with constant storms and flooding, what are your suggestions on the development of the agricultural economy?

I think that restructuring production is the most important. The production must avoid times of rain and flooding, then we can protect our labour.

Flood- and storm-hit areas also need to convert seedlings and breeds so that they are suitable with the real situation. What plants to grow? What kinds of animal to raise? All must be considered carefully to avoid negative impacts from natural disasters.

The story of environmental protection is to plant forests. We cannot swap the short-term economy for an “extremely expensive” price paid for deforestation and destruction of the forest environment. – VNS

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