Nguyễn Xuân Cường. — Photo danviet.vn
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyễn Xuân Cường speaks to Nông thôn Ngày nay (Countryside Today) newspaper about achievements recorded by the agriculture sector in 2018
What achievements did the agriculture sector make in 2018?
The sector worked to implement Government Resolution 1, which guides the socio-economic development plan and State budget estimates for the year. The ministry actively built short- and long-term development plans for the industry to increase added value of its products and foster sustainable development and the construction of new-style rural areas.
As a result, the sector fulfilled all five of its targets and showed remarkable progress in development, export turnover, investment attraction and constructing rural areas.
This year marks the first time the sector’s export turnover topped US$40 billion. In the context of the trade dispute between the US and China, what measures were implemented to achieve this progress?
The agricultural export turnover of Việt Nam has developed strongly and is now estimated at a record of $40 billion. This figure affirms the position of Việt Nam as the 15th largest international agricultural exporter. It exports to more than 180 countries and territories around the world.
China, the US, Japan, ASEAN and South Korea – five key markets of Vietnamese agricultural, fishery and forestry products – all continue to grow. The sector also paid attention to developing emerging markets in the Middle East, Africa and Eastern Europe.
This success is also due to price increases of key agricultural products, particularly rice, vegetables, fruits and seafood.
However, the global agricultural product market has faced a sharp decline in price of industrial plants this year in the context of fierce competition among exporters leading to rapid supply increases while demand decreases or grows slowly.
If development targets are met, at least 50 per cent of the country’s communes will meet new-style rural area standards by 2020. What is the plan to fulfill this target?
As of December this year, just eight months after introducing the programme, nearly 3,800 communes (42.4 per cent) across the country meet the standards.
Đồng Nai Province is the first locality that has all communes meeting the standards.
The building of these new-style area is widely supported by both the Politburo and the public.
What will the ministry do in the upcoming year to its meet long-term goals set for 2020?
The agricultural sector has a number of targets for 2019, including a GDP growth rate of 3 per cent, export turnover of $43 billion, 50 per cent of communes meeting criteria for new-style rural areas and forestry coverage of 41.85 per cent.
In order to meet these goals, the sector will focus on following key measures:
Firstly, it will improve productivity, produce quality and trade efficiency.
The ministry will speed up construction of the new rural areas. It will also review development strategies and production plans.
Next, the ministry will focus on developing markets and tackle trade difficulties. The goal is to negotiate the opening of more export markets while maintaining tradition markets.
Finally, it will work to improve the investment and business environment, increase the application of information technology and support business development. — VNS