Agricultural sector urged to ensure production for domestic consumption, export amid Covid-19 outbre

(VOVWORLD) - Vietnam’s agriculture is facing major challenges, including effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, extreme climatic effects like hailstones, drought, and saltwater intrusion, and diseases of livestock and poultry. The sector is struggling to meet the demands of domestic consumers and export markets.
Agricultural sector urged to ensure production for domestic consumption, export amid Covid-19 outbre - ảnh 1 A tele-conference is held in Hanoi on March 12, 2020 on boosting agricultural production amid the Covid-19 outbreak   (Photo:

Participants at a recent tele-conference in Hanoi on boosting agricultural production amid the Covid-19 outbreak called for restructuring agricultural production to adapt to climate change and leveraging regional advantages by increasing the proportion of aquaculture and fruit cultivation. This restructuring is intended to mitigate the economic damage caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, which is directly impacting the production and export of Vietnamese farm produce.

Participants also discussed ways to use rice farmland more efficiently to ensure food security and boost farmers' income. They agreed that a review is needed to help develop production areas for key export products and encourage businesses to cooperate with farmers.

The agricultural sector has been asked to take more measures to control diseases, in particular African swine fever, and work with the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Ministry of Finance to control prices and minimize speculation. The sector should step up pig re-herding to stabilize pork prices in the domestic market.

Conference participants underscored the need to diversify export markets for agricultural, forestry, and fishery products to eliminate dependence on a single market, and to meet commodity origin and geographical indication standards.

Duong Thanh Tung, Director of Bac Giang’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, called for more incentives to attract investors in high-tech agriculture to boost the processing industry.  

“During the Covid-19 pandemic, Bac Giang has been taking drastic measures to protect animal herds and ensure food supplies for Bac Giang and other provinces. We ask the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to attract more investment toward Bac Giang specialties like pork, chicken, flowers, fruit, and high-tech agriculture,” said Tung.

Rice output is expected to reach 28 million tons this year, a volume that can meet both domestic consumption demand and an export demand.

Vegetable production is projected to reach 18 million tons, up 5% from last year; fruit 13 million tons, up 6%; and aquatic products 8.5 million tons, up 4.4%.

Pork output will likely reach 5.8 million tons, up 16%, if animal diseases are controlled.

The Ministry will continue to coordinate with the Ministry of Industry and Trade and Vietnamese embassies in foreign countries to hold trade promotion events in promising markets.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong said the sector must overcome the looming challenges to achieve the growth target of 42 billion USD set for agricultural, forestry and aquatic exports.  

He added: “It’s important to boost production and overcome current difficulties in order to ensure adequate food supplies to meet domestic demand in any scenario. Maximal efforts should be made to deal with animal diseases like African swine fever and fight profiteering. The agriculture sector should prepare to seize the opportunity when the epidemic is over to boost growth and exports.”