Việt Nam-Denmark cooperate for a sustainable agriculture

Thursday, May 16, 2024 14:49

Minister Jensen and the Vietnamese Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) Lê Minh Hoan signed a Memorandum of Understanding. — Photo courtesy of the Embassy of Denmark

The Danish Minister for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, Jacob Jensen, is leading a high-level delegation to visit Việt Nam on 14-16 May 2024.

Together with a group of Danish agri-food companies with advanced technology and know-how on sustainability and green transition, the aim of the minister’s visit is to intensify high-level policy dialogue with Vietnamese counterparts with a focus on a more sustainable food production and a resource efficient supply chain.

Việt Nam and Denmark have developed a close and long- term bilateral relation on food safety. Since 2017, the bilateral cooperation has concentrated on facilitating co-operation within feed and food safety. The co-operation is a crucial part of the Green Strategic Partnership launched by the two Prime Ministers last November, where the two countries have committed to promote green transition and green growth, supporting Việt Nam in building a green economy and fulfilling the country’s commitment to achieve net-zero emission by 2050.

The SSC Food programme between Việt Nam and Denmark has been implemented by the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration (DVFA) and the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD). The first phase of the programme focused on improving framework conditions for animal feed production through capacity development of government officials and on the legislative framework for prudent use of veterinary drugs. In phase 2, which ran from April 2020 to April 2024, the main themes of cooperation are enhancing capacity across various stages of the food chain from farm to fork, combating anti-microbial resistance (AMR), feed control and traceability and recall of unsafe food.

During his visit, Minister Jensen has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Vietnamese Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) Lê Minh Hoan extending the government-to-government co-operation. For the coming years, the co-operation will have increased focus on the green transition of food and agricultural production, aiming to promote a more sustainable and resilient food system.

Jensen said: “Denmark's green transition in sustainable food production has led to the development of strong, innovative methods and approaches throughout the value chain, which boost production yield and improve product quality but at the same time consume less water and energy.

"We look forward to sharing these insights and inspire further collaboration with our Vietnamese partners. Our agreement is a strong testament to our fruitful cooperation where the two ministries do not only share common needs and interests but more importantly a common goal and vision: a sustainable and resilient food system.”

During his visit, the Danish Minister for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries also made a keynote speech at a workshop on Antimicrobial Resistance in agriculture and aquaculture. Antimicrobial resistance is a big threat to public health and human health nowadays. Therefore, this has been an important track of the Strategic Sector Co-operation Food programme.

The minister’s visit to Việt Nam this time, the second Danish high-level visit within just two months, has been also accompanied by a group of Danish companies and producers who own world leading’s solutions in food production and processing, storages, optimising the use of food and agriculture resources, drainage and water techniques.

Việt Nam is an attractive destination for Danish businesses in the agricultural sector. At present, Denmark has been one of the EU countries with the highest export per capita to Việt Nam and the agri-food sector constitutes approximately half of the total Danish exports to Việt Nam.

“Việt Nam has become an important and attractive market for Danish businesses and investors," Jensen said.

"Although Việt Nam and Denmark are geographically very far from each other, we are facing many of the same challenges and we have to continue working together to find ways to use resources effectively. In a smart way to increase competitiveness and sustainability.”

During his visit in the South of Việt Nam, the minister will visit Food Bank Vietnam, an important partner for the efforts to combat food waste and food loss. He will also pay site visits to a catfish aqua-farm in Tiền Giang and an aqua-feed factory in Bến Tre, where close partnerships between Vietnamese and Danish research institutions and companies promotes the use of new green technologies and solutions for a sustainable aquaculture production in Việt Nam.

On his last day of the visit, he will deliver a keynote speech at the seminar on “Sustainable agri-food production – Danish innovative technologies and financing opportunities”. The seminar will provide a forum to connect and facilitate exchange of experiences, technologies, financing and business opportunities between authorities, local decision-makers, sector managers as well as Danish and Vietnamese entrepreneurs. — VNS

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