Nation has abundant food supply during COVID-19 pandemic: official

July 22, 2021 - 09:13

At present, 19 southern provinces and cities are implementing social distancing according to Directive 16 to prevent and control the COVID-19 pandemic. This will affect the production, supply and consumption of agricultural products. However, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said that Việt Nam has an abundant supply of food.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Phùng Đức Tiến spoke to local media about this issue.

What is the current situation of agricultural production and supply?

The agricultural sector ensures an abundant supply of food. The problem now is the circulation of goods.

Implementing social distancing measures creates difficulties in transporting agricultural products so the price of chickens at farms in the South has decreased from VNĐ28,000 per kilo to VNĐ11,000 and pigs at farms in Đồng Nai cannot be distributed.

Therefore, there needs to be synchronous distribution to promote the consumption of agricultural products. 

In 2020, with a synchronous distribution system, local businesses ensured the supply of agricultural products of 300 per cent higher than Hà Nội's demand after only two days of implementing social distancing in this city.

At present, Hà Nội has also ensured the supply of agricultural products during the social distancing period due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

If localities only focus on fighting the pandemic but do not pay attention to production and consumption of goods, they could not achieve the dual goals of preventing the pandemic and maintaining production. 

As a result, they will face a lack of agricultural products to supply the domestic market and export.

At present, southern localities are implementing social distancing according to Directive 16, so they will face difficulties in harvesting agricultural products. How can this situation be resolved?

The COVID-19 outbreak occurred only in isolated and locked down areas. The other areas are in normal production. 

A radical implementation of Directive 16 in the areas without COVID-19 outbreaks will obstruct production and circulation of goods. Therefore, production still needs to take place normally in places that are not under isolation measures.

Nineteen southern provinces and cities implementing social distancing under Directive 16 have a large number of people, so the production and distribution must ensure both pandemic prevention and circulation of goods. This aims to stimulate production and also solve difficulties in consumption.

If there is a shortage of human resources in a locality, there will certainly be support from the armed forces such as the army and police, and social organisations. They will help farmers to harvest and distribute agricultural products.

On Monday, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development's working team came to HCM City to direct production, connect enterprises in consumption of agricultural products in southern provinces and cities. 

The working team will have to closely follow the actual situation and report to the Minister and the Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control to implement timely and practical solutions.

For the provinces and cities suffering heavy impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, what will the ministry do to ensure production as well as achieve the industry's growth target this year?

In the first six months of this year, the agricultural sector achieved high growth. However, in the second half of the year, the sector will face difficulties due to the complicated development of the COVID-19 pandemic.

To solve this problem, all projects and plans in the sector must be implemented synchronously and drastically, including industries of animal husbandry, fishery and cultivation.

Especially in provinces and cities with little impact from the COVID-19 pandemic, the ministry will work with localities to discuss solutions to boost production and increase supply for provinces and cities facing food shortages.

Besides that, the global market is disrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic and it is also an opportunity for Vietnamese agricultural exports. 

Therefore, the commodity industries must ensure safe production to ensure the supply for the domestic market and exports under the yearly target. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the raw material regions and processing areas need to be safe to ensure material for production until the end of the year. VNS