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Big companies show fresh interest in agricultural sector

Update: April, 14/2015 - 08:38

Ho Xuan Hung, chairman of the Viet Nam Confederation of Agriculture and Rural Development, spoke to Tien Phong (Vanguard) newspaper about increased private investment in agriculture.

Most companies and enterprises are afraid of investing in domestic agriculture. What is causing the leap in interest?

The productivity and quality of agricultural products in Viet Nam remains low due to the small scale of production as well as slow application of science and new technology. To make big progress, the investments of big private companies are vital.

Indeed, the farming potential is very large, both in cultivation, animal breeding, fisheries, and industrial plants. In my opinion, big private companies that invest have made the right choice.

Would a wave of investment create a new push for change in Viet Nam's agricultural industry?

Big private companies can create important changes, including better competitiveness, for our country's agriculture, because they have experience and the financial resources to put high technology into farm production. They can also withstand new challenges.

With good orientation, they will create a positive trend in restructuring products and using land and labour on a large scale. A large number of investment projects can impact a whole region.

These companies will also help authorities recognise the best ways of developing agriculture. They will also attract more domestic and foreign scientists and experts to take part. The high quality products produced will meet demand at home and abroad.

However, with big influence like that, will huge projects disturb the locals?

It is true that their efforts could confuse regional people,especially if their plans are not clear or if they cause unexpected effects. However, I believe it will the changes will be positive.

On the other hand, the companies may face problems related to land use, because they will need very large areas. In addition, the effects on the environment also have to be considered, such as soil and groundwater pollution, or changed river flows because many enterprises have already violated their agreements.

In your opinion, how can we attract more investment in agriculture from big private enterprises?

We should help them remove difficulties in land use. For big enterprises to access bank loans is not difficult, but interest rates remain high to investors with large projects.

Locals need to have clear policies and specific development plans which are not affected to benefit enterprises. We also need to expertly implement agriculture insurance to keep workers' minds on their work. — VNS

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