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Agricultural sector seeks ways to improve productivity, quality

Update: January, 19/2019 - 09:00
Clean vegetables in a greenhouse in the northern province of Vĩnh Phúc. Agricultural products have contributed significantly to the country’s exports in the last few years. — VNS Photo Đoàn Tùng
Viet Nam News

HCM CITY — To achieve sustainable development, Việt Nam’s agriculture sector must improve productivity and quality, and identify markets for its products, experts said at a conference held in HCM City on Friday.

Highly skilled labour, small-scale production, and increased use of technology are also all needed, they said.

Efficient restructuring of the agricultural sector has brought good results in the last few years, with agricultural products contributing significantly to total exports, but the sector is facing challenges, Nguyễn Trung Kiên, an expert in the field, said.

Kimura Yoshihisa, a consultant in agriculture at JICA, said that Japan used large fields and co-operatives to achieve sustainable agriculture.

Japanese farmers whose fields are located near each other grow crops with the same seed variety and on the same schedule.

They also use advanced farming techniques. If farmers’ fields in some areas are not located near each other, authorities should create favourable conditions for them to swap land, according to the Japanese expert.

For farmers whose land is unproductive or who had no one to farm the land, authorities will help the land owner find a farmer to grow crops on their land.

Nguyễn Đỗ Anh Tuấn, director of the Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development (Ipsard) under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), said that Việt Nam’s abundant agricultural supply could meet changing demand of local and global markets.

The sector aims for annual growth of a minimum 3 per cent, with labour productivity improving by 3.5 per cent a year by 2020, according to the agriculture ministry.

The ministry has also set a goal of having 15,000 agriculture co-operatives, increasing income of rural residents by 1.8 times compared to 2015.

To achieve these results, the sector would need to develop a national key product group, a provincial key product group, and a "one commune, one product” group, a MARD representative said.

A systematic approach to training its growing workforce would also fully reap the benefits of free trade, experts said.

Authorities in the Mekong Delta city of Cần Thơ plan to provide training in agriculture for at least 1,400 people in rural areas this year, focusing mostly on crop cultivation and animal husbandry.

The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and Việt Nam Farmers’ Union co-organised the conference. — VNS

 

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