Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Economic experts are concerned about the slow growth of the agriculture sector, which they say may affect the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) this year.
The September report of the General Statistics Office (GSO) showed that agriculture rose by 1.96 per cent and contributed 0.23 percentage points to the GDP in the first nine month of this year. This is viewed as a good sign for a sector that has been struggling with many difficulties for the past three years, even witnessing negative growth for many months.
However, according to economic experts, the added value was not significant and there were many potential risks that needed more drastic and appropriate measures to gain sustainable development.
Commenting on the sector’s contribution to the economy, economist Vũ Đình Ánh told vov.vn “We cannot ignore this field, because it implies a lot of risks to nature as well as the market.”
During the 2014-16 period, the agricultural sector was in constant trouble. Risks to the sector may also have a negative effect on the country’s growth rate as a whole.
Economist Lưu Bích Hồ said although the economic value was not much higher than that of many other industries and services, once the agriculture sector reached sustainable development it would lead to stability and social security.
This was because 70 per cent of the population was working in and dependent on agriculture.
Hồ said the nine-month growth of the sector was only a preliminary achievement, requiring more systematic solutions to add value to the sector.
"The sector is improving and restructuring. It’s being transformed from rice to shrimp and fish, which means it is applying advanced technology for production and to enhance processing,” said Hồ.
Lack of connection
Economist Phạm Tất Thắng said although domestic and foreign enterprises had paid attention to the agricultural sector and production chain, investment was still very limited and used little foreign direct investment.
Therefore, it needed better policies, such as land policy, to develop production on a large scale, Thắng said.
He said it was necessary to combine production with the market, improve the quality of products associated with diversification of markets and not be dependent on a single market.
Agriculture is considered the "pillar" of the economy, so it should not fluctuate since that would make the country’s economy backward, pushing it behind other countries, especially in the context of the deeper and wider economic integration. — VNS