Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyễn Xuân Cường
The agriculture sector this year is targeting gross domestic product (GDP) growth of 2.9 - 3 per cent and export value of agricultural, forestry and fishery products of US$42 billion.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyễn Xuân Cường speaks to local media about these goals.
How does the sector plan to achieve the export target this year?
There is a plenty of solutions to gain export value of farming, forestry and seafood products at US$42 billion in 2020 though the agriculture sector still faces many challenges. Of which, an important solution is developing the product processing stage.
Total global food trade value is about more than $2 trillion, of which value from processing products accounts for a large proportion.
Việt Nam needs to develop the product processing stage, especially processing products for exports and agricultural production chain. Processing development will help increase export value from agriculture, forestry and fishery.
What are challenges will Việt Nam's agriculture sector face this year?
This year will not see a lot of favourable conditions for agricultural development, so since early this year, the sector has focused on directing production of the winter-spring crop in the north and dealing with saltwater intrusion in the Mekong Delta.
Besides, African swine fever has almost ended but it is not really at safe status because this pandemic could return to threaten domestic pig production this year.
The global farming market features fierce competition because of trade wars, including in agricultural products. Meanwhile, many countries want to develop agricultural production so those changes put pressure on farming export countries like Việt Nam.
What are the sector’s tasks this year after the National Target Programme on New-style Rural Area Building has been completed two years ahead of schedule?
In 2020, the sector will have two major goals, including developing agricultural production and rural economy. This is the core of a new-style rural area. The second is to focus on improving the production environment and living environment to reach the standards of a new-style rural area.
To gain these targets, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) proposes the Government invest more in rural economy development, besides of private investment.
Over the past three years, the number of enterprises investing in the agriculture sector has tripled to more than 750,000, including a lot of highly qualified large private enterprises.
In addition, the Government and the sector have also introduced policies to encourage businesses to invest in agriculture. Furthermore, numerous investment promotion activities have been held for the agricultural sector.
How will the MARD develop the livestock industry after the African swine fever epidemic?
During the epidemic last year, the agriculture sector kept some 109,000 parent pigs for future reproduction. The industry also has a total of 2.7 million sows, a source of good varieties for pig reproduction and herd development.
Besides that, the ministry has encouraged businesses and farmers to ensure biosafety in pig farming.
The ministry hopes in February or March, pig production at 17 large enterprises will return to normal.
Meanwhile, small farmers will find it harder to ensure biosafety than large companies, so the ministry has recommended that localities encourage farmers to raise cattle and poultry and plant other trees instead of breeding pigs.
This is a good solution to prevent these small households from reproduction of pigs when the pork price recovers, as if their pigs reproduce, the epidemic could return. VNS