Agriculture urged to reach 1.2% growth

Friday, Nov 11, 2016 09:02

Workers of the privately-owned Co May Company in southern Dong Thap Province’s Chau Thanh District package rice to sell in both domestic and overseas markets. The agricultural sector is projected to achieve a GDP growth rate of at least 1.2 per cent at the end of this year. — VNA/VNS Photo Vu Sinh

The agricultural sector was urged to exert all-out efforts in the remaining months of the year to realise the sector’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth target of at least 1.2 per cent and increase export value to US$31 billion in 2016.

Speaking at a press conference hosted by the Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development (MARD) in Ha Noi on Wednesday, Deputy Minister Ha Cong Tuan said 1.2 per cent growth was lower than the initial target but it was better than the negative growth rate in the first half of the year.

The sector will take measures to maintain and promote growth of fruit, vegetable and aquaculture exports to make up for a drop in rice exports, Tuan said. He asked for special attention to fostering exports, controlling quality of exports and ensuring food safety for demanding markets like those in Japan and Europe.

Viet Nam’s key aquatic exports, like shrimp and tra fish, recorded stable growth in the first ten months of 2016, Tuan said.

Export turnover of fruit and vegetables is estimated to reach about $2.5 billion, whilst aquaculture growth rate is expected to reach 7-8 per cent. The livestock industry is expected to grow at 5 per cent for 2016, and forestry was set to attain a growth rate of 7 per cent with export values being $7.2-7.3 billion in 2016.

Local authorities were asked to keep track of the epidemiological situation, especially in the rainy season.

The MARD also asked agencies and localities to devise measures to deal with the La Nina phenomenon, which causes rain and negative effects on agriculture production, especially this year’s winter-spring rice crop and industrial plants.

If these key fields can maintain their growth in the remaining months of 2016 they will help ensure the sector’s yearly growth target, compensating for the declining growth of food items, including rice, Tuan said.

Improving agro sector

Also on Wednesday, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) and MARD, to promote co-operation in the production of agro-forestry-fishery products till 2020.

Under the MoU, the two ministries will work closely to improve output and quality of products and add value as per market demand. It touches upon lifting non-tariff barriers, exploring export markets and conducting trade promoting and brand building activities.

The ministries will jointly manage the local market; fight smuggling and counterfeit agro, forestry and fishery products; push for mechanisation and electrification in rural areas; lure investment into these sectors, strengthen State management; and develop craft villages.

MoIT minister Tran Tuan Anh said the two ministries have created specific action programmes to enhance production as well as consumption of agro, forestry and fishery products.

MARD minister Nguyen Xuan Cuong said that between now and the end of the year, the two ministries will direct the production and consumption of major products such as vegetables, pork meat, milk, shrimp, tra fish and rice to achieve an agro-forestry-fishery export target of $31 billion for 2016.

In the past, the two ministries have joined hands to adopt trade defence measures; conducted trade promotion programmes at home and abroad; connected supply and demand to ensure the stability of the local market; controlled the quality of agricultural materials, agro, forestry and fishery products; electrified rural areas; and invested in irrigation for agriculture. — VNS

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