Viet Nam News
Dr. Nguyễn Đỗ Anh Tuấn, director of the Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development, speaks to the Nhân dân (People) newspaper on the need to promote linkages between enterprises and farmers
We have talked a lot about agricultural value chains to boost the restructuring of our primary industry. However, that objective has not been achieved. Why is this?
The weakest point in most of our agro products value chains is vertical and horizontal linkages between agents within the chain, particularly linkages between producers, processors and businesses.
However, the main reason for the high production costs and high risks is loose linkage between producers and enterprises. As a result, product quality is below importers’ quality standards or food safety requirements.
A good production chain will help the farmers improve the quality of their agro products and develop brand names for their products at home and abroad.
To promote agricultural development, don’t you think Việt Nam should renew its policies?
Many public policies have been developed to promote agriculture and rural development. But state subsidies still make up the bulk of these policies. Việt Nam is restructuring its primary industry, so it is high time for policy makers to change their thoughts on how to develop policy to meet the changing demands of society.
For example, instead of giving subsidies to farmers, we should encourage farmers to use their own resources in production and hopefully, a new generation of farmers will be created.
I’m pretty sure that when the farmers adopt entrepreneurial thinking, they will learn how to produce products that meet the market’s requirements.
The government should also adopt policies to promote linkages between various co-operatives to expand their production and market outlets and between farmers and enterprises to find outlets for their products.
Last but not least, farmers want the government to help them access good infrastructure, agriculture extension activities, science and technology to improve their yield and produce high quality products.
Is it a paradox that Việt Nam is an agriculture-based economy, but doesn’t have a good environment for agricultural enterprises to develop?
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has tried to attract more enterprises to engage in agriculture production, but they should focus on different areas.
For the country’s main farm products the government should create a lucrative environment to attract big enterprises that can develop good brand names.
To achieve this, a channel should be set up to explain the government’s policies on agriculture development.
For key regional products, we should focus on encouraging medium enterprises to participate in this value chain while holding regular meetings between enterprises with provincial leaders to discuss how to attract more investment.
Finally, for local products the government should focus on providing favourable conditions for small and household enterprises so that each village has a special product with a special brand name.
What should we do to increase interaction and alliances between enterprises and farmers?
The first thing we should do is to attract investment from enterprises and help farmers to look for new markets.
The government should streamline its policies on land leasing, business registration or even reduce taxes and fees on households wanting to open new business.
I think the government should also give preferential policies to newly set up service co-operatives or enterprises focusing on trade promotion, intellectual property rights, trade marks and others.
Last, the government should promote regional linkages between enterprises and farming households, between enterprises and enterprises, between enterprises and supermarkets and others.
I’m confident that such policies will help link enterprises and farmers. — VNS