The Hanoitimes - The State should introduce policies to ensure agriculture will develop in a sustainable manner and farmers will benefit from agricultural production.
The view was shared by domestic and foreign experts at a conference in Hanoi on March 6 to look at outlook for Vietnam ’s agricultural production.
The conference brought together experts from the World Bank (WB), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the US Department of Agriculture, and the Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, and those from the Central Institute for Economic Management and the Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development (IPSARD).
Experts suggested the State invest more in agricultural production and work out solutions to help farmers and businesses surmount difficulties in processing and selling farm products, accessing bank loans and seeking outlets.
The global economy is not out of the woods yet, causing unexpected fluctuations in the farm produce market, they said, adding that it is necessary to make proper forecasts of market supply and demand, prices, as well as new policies for developing key farm products.
Prof. Peter Timmer, a leading scholar in agro-economics, said agriculture will plays a crucial role in economic growth and social stability in the next five decades, creating a good chance for investment flows.
Vietnam is no exception. Last year, the country experienced slow economic growth due to high inflation, limited liquidity of the banking system, a high trade deficit and business losses.
However, agriculture offered a much needed shot in the arm for the national economy, growing 4 percent and earning US$25 billion from exports (accounting for 22 percent of the country’s total export earnings). It also generated a significant number of jobs for local people, and was the only economic sector obtaining an export surplus of US$18 billion.
Dang Kim Son from the IPSARD said that although the World Economic Forum in Davos last January praised Vietnam ’s agricultural achievements and considered it a good example for agricultural development in developing countries, Vietnam ’s agricultural value is not high, mainly because advanced technology is not used in much of its agricultural production.
Danish Deputy Ambassador Lis Rosenholm said Vietnam ’s production and export of agricultural products has attracted many major investors around the world. Agriculture is predicted to be an important factor in its economic growth and social stability so Vietnam should make commitment that farmers will be the key beneficiaries from agricultural production.
Yuriko Shoji, FAO representative in Vietnam , suggested that Vietnam reserve land funds, supply sufficient water resource, and encourage organic farming in agricultural production.