The Hanoitimes - In the time to come, agricultural production will remain a key element in Vietnam ’s economic and social development structure.
The Institute of Policy and Strategy and Rural Development (IPSARD) in collaboration with the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) will organize the Vietnam Agricultural Outlook Conference 2012 in Hanoi on March 6-7 with a focus on animal husbandry and key agricultural products such as rice, coffee and cacao.
Prof. Peter Timmer, one of the world’s leading agricultural economists, says within next 50 years agriculture will play an important role in economic growth, social stability and investment attraction. Therefore, the global economic downturn has increasingly directed a lot of attention from investors to the agricultural sector.
This is a rare opportunity for agricultural growth but there will be challenges arising from fluctuations in the price of agricultural products in the world market. To overcome such challenges, it requires greater efforts to make a breakthrough in the global agricultural development, he says.
Last year, Vietnam experienced a slow economic growth due to high inflation, limited liquidity, trade deficit and business losses. Agriculture was considered a shot in the arm much needed by the national economy with a growth rate of 4 percent and export earnings of US$25 billion (accounting for 22 percent of the country’s total export turnover). Agriculture was also the only sector enjoying an export surplus of US$18 billion in 2011.
The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2012 held in Davos , Switzerland in January, praised Vietnam ’s agricultural achievements, saying the country has set a typical model of agricultural development for developing countries. Vietnam ’s production and export of agricultural products has attracted many major investors in the world. Its agriculture is predicted to develop strongly and sustainably with higher efficiency and quality.
In this context, market analysis and forecasting is very essential since many of Vietnam ’s key agricultural products such as rice, coffee and seafood fetch ridiculously low prices and investors find themselves unable to prime the pump in the agricultural processing areas.
If market analysis and forecasting is not improved, Vietnam ’s agricultural production and social development will be greatly affected.
To cope with the situation, IPSARD has conducted research into domestic and foreign agricultural products. Since 2007, it has organized its annual conferences on coffee outlook and some other products.
Rice production and animal husbandry play an important role in ensuring national food security and creating jobs for millions of people. Seafood and coffee are leading the agro-forestry-fishery sector in terms of export value.
At the coming conference, experts from Vietnamese and international research organizations and relevant agencies will have an exchange of opinion on information, demand-supply forecasting, pricing and other policies for the development of key agricultural products.
The conference will be an ideal venue for policy-makers, management and policy research institutes, craft associations, representatives from international organizations and businesses operating in the agro-forestry-fishery sector to discuss effective measures to improve the competitiveness of Vietnam ’s agricultural products.