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Agricultural exports to receive boost

Update: March, 12/2012 - 09:40

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Diep Kinh Tan spoke to the newspaper Thoi Bao Kinh Te Viet Nam (Viet Nam Economic Times) about efforts to increase the country's trade.

What are the challenges facing exports in the agriculture, forestry and aquaculture sectors?

This year is going to be a very tough year for exports. There are limited sources of capital for agricultural development, especially for exports of agriculture, forestry and aquaculture products. In addition, we continue to face unpredictable weather conditions and an unstable global economy. These are critical challenges for the local agriculture industry.

To cope with these problems, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has asked the agricultural industry to continue to produce more leading agricultural products. We have asked them to try to meet or surpass the targets.

In order to improve quality as well as enhance export turnover of farm produce, the ministry has focused on investment in post-harvest activities and the processing industry. According to the ministry, aquaculture, breeding and forestry are three areas that have a high export potential.

What does the ministry plan to do to meet the demand of the domestic and foreign markets?

Aquaculture is one area that has the most potential for exports. We need to control any disease among breeding products like tra fish, basa fish and shrimp.

The output of tra fish and basa fish will remain the same, even though these products have good potential. Instead, we hope to double the output of shrimp by focusing on improving the processing technology.

Meanwhile, the industry has been asked to control an increase in output to prevent oversupply of the product, which can lead to a drop in prices of the products and financial losses to farmers.

As for the breeding industry, currently about 70 per cent of the meat in the country come from households, with the remaining from industrial breeding. Thus, we need to apply high-tech measures in the breeding industry to prevent the outbreak of diseases and maintain and increase productivity.

The ministry will propose favourable conditions and policies for businesses, especially foreign ones, in an aim to attract investment in industrial breeding industry.

What steps will the ministry take to improve the value of farm-produce exports?

First, we need to expand the market for farm produce, both locally and internationally. Recently we worked with the Chinese Business Association to build a centre for promoting Vietnamese farm produce in Guangzhou and Guangxi provinces in China. In return, the Investment and Trade Promotion Centre in Ha Noi will also work with the Chinese market.

In addition, we will soon have more export cooperation between China and Viet Nam. The Ministry of Industry and Trade has also set up a centre for promoting Vietnamese products in the US.

Apart from that, the ministry has launched a project to improve the added value of leading farm produce. It has set a target to increase the added value of agricultural products from 50 per cent up to 70 per cent by 2020.

As for rice, the ministry will apply advanced technologies in production in accordance with sustainable production to reduce production costs. The aim is to improve both productivity and the quality of rice. — VNS

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