Vietnam to restructure agriculture and profit farmers

  • ngày 2013/09/28

The restructuring of Vietnam’s agricultural activities would aim at getting the most benefits and the highest profits for farmers-- one official has said.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat talked to the press on the sidelines of the meeting on September 27 in Hanoi

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Cao Duc Phat, made the statement at a meeting on September 27, in Hanoi on the implementation of the country’s plan for restructuring agriculture and rural development.

Last year agriculture was recognised as a major economic sector in the country, contributing as much as 22% of total GDP. However, statistics showed that the agricultural growth rate has decreased at a rate of 4.5% per year in the 1995-2000 period, to only 2.7% in 2012. Therefore, the restructuring of agriculture and rural development is of great importance to the national economy.

Under the plan which was approved by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung in June this year, the restructuring of agriculture and rural development in Vietnam would be implemented with a view to improving added values and ensuring sustainable development.

“Improving agricultural values and ensuring sustainable development are our key long-term plans. Restructuring of agriculture is of great importance and a challenging task which requires general consent and great determination. I believe that such a plan would create a breakthrough and further foster national development,” Phat emphasised.

According to him, in order to realise these targets, localities nationwide must review their production structure so as to choose crops and animals that have advantages e.g, they have good markets and bring about added values. Then, due attention should be paid to investment in science and technology as well as the framing of suitable policies that will support farmers. It’s also important to set up good cooperation between farmers and enterprises so as to improve product sales.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has required branches to map out detailed plans for implementation.

As a result, the forestry industry must find a way to amass more profits from forestation and protected forests, including the development of carbon credits and boosting wood exports.

The cultivation industry should be developed based on sustainable and intensive farming. Infrastructure for rice cultivation such as irrigation systems should also be transformed to serve fisheries as well.

Apart from maintaining 3.8 million hectares of land for rice cultivation, the cultivation industry must consider new models to bring about extra income for farmers instead of depending only on rice.

Around 300,000 hectares of traditional rice cultivation would be transformed into land for crop plants or growing perennial plants or for aquaculture.

Raising more poultry instead of pigs?

“It’s necessary to develop farm produce processing services and supporting industries so as to increase production values as currently we mainly export crude agricultural products,” Phat noted.

In order to increase agricultural productivity and values, the application of science and technology would be an optimal solution, he said.

“We should take advantage of available resources to choose the most suitable animals for breeding. It’s ridiculous when we, a rice exporting country, have to import maize to make animal feed,” he commented.

Vietnam is unable to compete in the international arena as it has to import as much as 70% of the materials for animal feed production. Currently, production costs of maize-fed pig raising in Vietnam are up to 30% higher than in the US.

To improve the situation, the country should gradually switch to raise animals that consume rice or use feed made from rice such as poultry species.

“Now we have the second largest duck flock in the world after China. We should go on with it as it seems like a good way to go,” he proposed.

With 14 million farmer households currently and 25 million people working directly in agriculture, it’s not suitable to develop automatic animal breeding farms, at this time, as it would mean making many people jobless, he added.

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