Agriculture ensures food security and contributes to rural development

(VOVworld) – Vietnam’s agricultural sector marks its 70th anniversary on September 14. Vietnam is now able to ensure its national food security and has become one of the world’s biggest exporters of agricultural products.

During the renewal period Vietnam’s agricultural sector has maintained stable growth and has become the foundation for industrial and services development, contributing significantly to social stability.

Major exporter of farm produce

Agriculture contributes 18% of Vietnam’s GDP. Vietnam is one of the world’s biggest exporters of agricultural, forestry, and aquatic products. Major export items include rice, coffee, pepper, cashew nuts, cassava, tea, and rubber. Vietnam’s agricultural achievements have helped to reduce poverty, ensure food security, and improve Vietnam’s image in the international arena. Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat said: “Over the last 5 years Vietnam’s agriculture has maintained an average growth rate of 3%, one of the highest in the world. Exports of farm produce totalled 31 billion USD in 2014. The National Target Program on building new rural areas has become a nationwide movement.”

Making the most of agricultural advantages for integration

Vietnam has stable trade relations with more than 160 countries and has joined a number of free trade agreements including the ASEAN FTA, the ASEAN-China FTA, the ASEAN-India FTA, the ASEAN-Australia FTA, the ASEAN-Republic of Korea FTA, the ASEAN-Japan FTA, and the Vietnam-Japan FTA. Vietnam is focusing on agricultural restructuring for better integration. Minister Cao Duc Phat said: “Agricultural restructuring is underway with a view to create more jobs, improve farmers’ income, and reduce poverty. Coordinated measures must be taken to reorganize production and promote the research, transfer, and application of scientific advances.”

Minister Phat said the aim of agricultural restructuring is to achieve economic efficiency and sustainable development. Priority will be given to internationally competitive products such as coffee, rubber, rice, shimp, catfish, fruit, cashew nuts, and wood products. Developing farms, applying high-technologies, and increasing links between production and processing, preservation, and consumption will also be prioritized. International integration provides an important motive for restructuring Vietnam’s agriculture and rural development sector.