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Viet Nam needs holistic agriculture strategy

Update: April, 12/2014 - 09:37
Farming land has been lost due to rapid urbanisation. Expert say it is not advisable to look at food security, poverty, climate change and sustainable development separately. — VNA/VNS Photo Bui Tuong

HA NOI  ( VNS) — Viet Nam needs to look at food security from a more comprehensive perspective, officials and experts say.

Tran Van Viet, an expert from the National Assembly's Economic Committee, said agriculture should not only used to feed people, but to feed them properly.

"Food security, climate-smart agriculture and green growth have become the motivation for the farm sector in recent years," he said.

Nguyen Van Bo, director of the Viet Nam Academy of Agriculture Sciences (VAAS), said it was not possible to look at food security, poverty, hunger, climate change, and environmental sustainable development separately.

He said Viet Nam was one of five countries in the world that would suffer the most from climate change and that it was of critical importance that development scenarios be built.

A model for smart agriculture was initiated in 2011 with support from the Food and Agriculture Organisation.

It was held in the three northern provinces of Yen Bai, Son La and Dien Bien.

Viet said the term "green growth" had become a development strategy in Viet Nam. He added that to make it work, researchers and policy makers had to define actions that the Government had to make.

Nguyen Do Anh Tuan, deputy director of the Institute of Policy and Strategies for Agriculture and Rural Development (IPSARD), suggested several changes in terms of policy making.

These include shifting from protecting rice-planting areas to protecting agricultural land and from developing rice production to improving food quality. He also recommended that instead of expanding agriculture areas, Viet Nam improves agriculture productivity with the support of science and technology.

Tuan also mentioned the need to invest in technology for the post-harvest period instead of focusing only on production and to organise large-scale regional production instead of small-scale, scattered production.

Another important suggestion that Tuan made was that the Government support farmers from vulnerable groups so that they could make higher profits. Besides, he said, the Government should let the market run its own course instead of intervening and should help the country focus on its strengths in order to boost international integration. — VNS

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