Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Representatives of 10 Vietnamese universities and institutions in agriculture and forestry and their Australian counterparts discussed, yesterday and today, expertise and excellence in agribusiness, education and research in Hà Nội.
The Việt Nam-Australia Agribusiness Research and Innovation showcase, organised by the Australian government in partnership with Việt Nam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, provided a platform for the two sides to exchange ideas on how to ensure food security and safety as well as develop sustainable value chains and management systems.
Hugh Borrowman, the Australian ambassador to Việt Nam said that agricultural co-operation between the two countries had been increasingly promoted. Australia pledged to support Việt Nam’s economic development in general and agriculture in particular towards 2020 by promoting the private sector and improving workers’ skills.
Long-term investment in Vietnamese agriculture had been made through the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), focusing on enhancing competency, developing sustainable value chains of Vietnamese exported farm produce, he said.
Focusing on what brings success to Vietnamese agriculture sector, Dr Trần Công Thắng, deputy head of Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development, mentioned hard-working, smart, innovative farmers, investment from the government in terms of infrastructure, science and technology. In addition, domestic and foreign direct investment (FDI) enterprises, and the country’s integration into the global economy were also important contributing factors.
However, he pointed out challenges including slowing down of agricultural growth in the past five to six years, along with low labour productivity, small-scale farms which hinder increased application of science and technology, and impacts of environmental issues.
The representatives from the Australian universities shared similar opportunities and challenges that Australia had enjoyed and suffered with drought being a major cause of crop losses.
They said there was a need for smart agriculture strategies to address challenges through partnerships while highlighting the importance of bilateral co-operation in the sector.
According to the Australian embassy, Việt Nam is Australia’s sixth largest agricultural export market overall. In the context of Trans-Pacific Partnership signed by both countries, Việt Nam is an important partner to Australia in the ASEAN region. — VNS