Government in action must be accompanied by action in agriculture: PM Phuc

Thursday, 2018-01-04 17:48:13
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PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc has urged for more drastic and urgent measures to boost Vietnamese agricultural development. (Credit: VGP)
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NDO – Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has asked the agricultural sector and relevant localities to focus on rural agriculture and to take actions to boost the development of the whole sector.

The senior government leader made the requirement whilst chairing a teleconference summing up the 2017 tasks and deploying the new plan for agriculture and rural development in 2018, held by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) on January 4.

Reports by MARD Minister Nguyen Xuan Cuong showed that last year the agricultural sector experienced a range of difficulties and challenges posed by climate change with anomalous weather, natural disasters, storms and floods, causing great damage to infrastructure, production and the lives of the people.

The consumption of agricultural products continues to face trade barriers and fierce competition as many countries promote their agricultural exports and adopt protection policies. Meanwhile, diseases in plants and livestock are always at risk of outbreaks. Production capacity is quite large, while production is still based on small, scattered household agricultural models.

However, thanks to the timely guidance and synchronous implementation of various solutions, the agriculture and rural development sector achieved good results, as total export turnover of the whole sector was estimated at US$36.37 billion, up US$4.19 billion (13%) compared to 2016 and trade surplus was at US$8.55 billion, an increase of US$1.1 billion over 2016.

In 2017 alone, the number of enterprises investing in agriculture accounts for 30% of the current total businesses.

PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc speaks with delegates attending the conference. (Credit: VGP)

Addressing the conference, PM Phuc affirmed that the Party and State always paid attention to agriculture, rural areas and farmers. He also emphasised the role and contribution of the sector to the socio-economic development of the country over the past few years.

In 2018, the PM requested for a more transparent and substantial transformation in the restructuring of the agricultural sector, while reiterating the specific targets for the agricultural sector set by the year-end Governmental Conference with the Localities 2017, with agricultural growth reaching 3% and export value must reach about US$40 billion, rather than just US$38 billion as reported by MARD at Thursdays conference.

The PM stressed the need for participation of all levels, branches and localities in agricultural development to bring policies into life, as a government in action must be accompanied by the whole sector in action.

He urged for renovation and the reorganisation of agricultural production towards hi-tech agriculture and clean agriculture, in association with growth model innovation and the replication of innovative farming models.

Drastic prevention of illegal fishing and unregistered fishing is also of importance, so that the “yellow card” given by the EU could be withdrawn in the first half this year, PM Phuc stressed, adding the need for strictly closing natural forests and managing the conversion of forest land for other uses.

He set a task for MARD to remove and amend 59 business conditions to achieve the goal of abolishing 50% of business conditions in the spirit the government Resolution 19 to facilitate business operation.

Emphasising the importance of the integration process as Vietnam is joining the next-generation Free Trade Agreements (FTAs), the PM highlighted the opening of policies to reach the important major markets of FTAs, along with the domestic market of nearly 100 million people. Therefore, the agricultural sector and concerned localities need to have adequate sources of products with good quality and ensured food safety to maintain their markets, stated PM Phuc.