Agriculture need more investments and technology, say experts

Wednesday, Jan 18, 2017 15:30

Experts said the ceiling for agricultural land holding should be gradually abolished to encourage investment in farming production. — Photo

It is essential to lower input costs and improve quality to enhance competitiveness of agricultural products and efficiency of investments in this sector, experts have said.

Nguyen Do Anh Tuan, director of Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development (IPSARD), said the Government’s policies on land management and its encouragement to use technologies in agricultural production would play an important role, while speaking at a conference in Ha Noi on Thursday.

Though the agricultural sector is among the Vietnamese economy’s strengths during this period of international integration, investment in the sector remains modest as it is a sector with high risks and slow capital recovery, Tuan said.

Investments into agriculture and rural development come from five sources, including a mere 6 per cent from the State budget; 7 per cent from official development assistance; 1.5 per cent from foreign direct investment and macro-finance; while banking credits account for 4 per cent of the gross domestic product.

Dau Anh Tuan, head of legal department under the Viet Nam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, suggested that the ceiling for agricultural land holding should be raised and gradually abolished.

The ceiling makes agricultural production scattered and it is difficult to apply science and technology when that happens, which in turn keeps prices high and discourages long-term investments. “To encourage investments in agricultural production, there must be more favourable policies to create impetus for businesses and farmers,” Tuan said.

Policies must also encourage the development of new varieties of high yield and quality products, said Tran Thi Thanh Nhan from the IPSARD.

Tran Dinh Long, president of Viet Nam Seed Association, said low added value, the absence of a value chain and the impact of climate change are major challenges for Viet Nam’s agricultural sector. It is critical to apply technologies in farming production as that’s the solution for sustainable development, he said.

Agriculture exports earned a revenue of US$31.2 billion in 2016. — VNS

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