Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — The agriculture sector will have to step up efforts in many areas to meet three major targets set for the year, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyễn Xuân Cường has said.
He was speaking at a conference in Hà Nội late last week to review the sector’s performance in the first half of this year and set orientations for the second half.
The three major targets the minister referred to are: a growth rate of 3.05 per cent; US$33 billion in export turnover of agriculture, forestry and fisheries; and 31 per cent of the country’s communes meeting new-style rural area standards.
Cường said most of the basic targets set by the Government have been met, but the sector faced difficulties related to market and weather conditions.
He also said that several shortcomings continued to dog the sector, including poor, unsustainable value chain, low investment, a lack of closed production lines, lack of skilled human resources and loose co-ordination among stakeholders.
Highlighting challenges in the second half of the year, Cường said the sector has to prepare for difficulties in both both domestic and foreign markets, and deal with weaknesses in processing and marketing.
Hoàng Thanh Vân, director of the ministry’s Department of Animal Husbandry, mentioned sluggish growth in livestock breeding, particularly in pig farming. He suggested that localities join hands to help farmers enhance efficiency of animal husbandry.
Cường said more conferences will be organised on ways to boost exports of chicken and pork, not only to China, but also to other markets. He stressed the need to restructure the livestock sector, saying all units must review their planning, taking into account factors relating to the market and climate change impacts.
H1 jump in exports
The country’s export turnover of agro-forestry-fisheries products was $17.1 billion in the first half of this year, up 13.1 per cent year-on-year, according to the agriculture ministry.
Of this, farm produce exports climbed to $9.1 billion, 15.4 per cent higher than the same period last year, with rice, rubber and tea recording increases in both export volume and value. Up to 2.8 million tonnnes of rice were shipped abroad for a turnover of $1.2 billion, up 6.3 per cent in volume and 5 per cent in value, respectively. China remained the top importer of Vietnamese rice.
Rubber exports hit 460,000 tonnes at $867 million, marking respective increases of five per cent in quantity and 59 per cent in value. Tea exports posted year-on-year increases of 17 per cent and 15 per cent at 63,000 tonnes and $98 million respectively.
Meanwhile, despite slumps in export volumes, coffee and cashew nuts recorded turnover increases in the first six months, the ministry noted.
Coffee shipments to overseas markets reached 817,000 tonnes, earning $1.86 billion, down 16.7 per cent in volume but up 10 per cent in value against last year. Meanwhile, cashew nut exports plunged 4.5 per cent to 149,000 tonnes, but its value rose 21 per cent to $1.5 billion.
According to the ministry, fisheries products worth $3.5 billion were shipped overseas since the beginning of this year, marking a 14.1 per cent year-on-year increase. The US, EU, Japan, China and South Korea remained Việt Nam’s largest importers, accounting for 54.6 per cent of the total exports.
Revenues from forestry product shipments reached $3.8 billion, up 13 per cent year-on-year. Of these, wood and wooden furniture raked in $3.6 billion, 13.2 per cent higher than the same period last year. Major buyers were the US, China and Japan.
The ministry also reported that Việt Nam spent $14.06 billion on importing agro-forestry-fisheries products in the period, a year-on-year surge of 25.4 per cent. — VNS