Vietnam Time

1/28/2019 4:09:35 PM

Vietnam’s agriculture had good results in 2018, but some exports are vulnerable

Statistics show satisfactory results for agricultural production in 2018. However, there were ‘dark corners’ that need to be cleared, experts say.

Achievements

The report from the agriculture ministry released at an online conference on January 3 said that total agricultural production value in 2018 increased by 3.86 percent compared with 2017.

The agricultural, forestry and seafood sectors’ contribution to GDP increased by 3.76 percent, a seven-year peak. Meanwhile, the total export turnover reached $40.02 billion, higher than the targeted $40 billion.

In 2018, about 105,000 hectares of low-yield rice fields were replaced by crops which could bring higher profits. The rice output increased by 1.26 million tons despite the narrower rice cultivation area.

Regarding aquaculture and fishery, the total seafood output was reported at 7.75 million tons, an increase of 6.1 percent compared with the year before. The seafood export turnover increased by 6.5 percent, higher than the expected growth rate of 5.29 percent.

Regarding aquaculture and fishery, the total seafood output was reported at 7.75 million tons, an increase of 6.1 percent compared with the year before. The seafood export turnover increased by 6.5 percent, higher than the expected growth rate of 5.29 percent.

Minister of Agriculture & Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong noted the increased investment in processing industries which have helped develop agricultural production.

Sixteen fruit, poultry and seafood processing facilities were established in 2018, with total investment capital of VND8.7 trillion.

This helped Vietnam gain a trade surplus of $8.72 billion in farm produce in 2018.

Problems

The catfish sector has been warned that big difficulties are ahead in 2019. Duong Nghia Quoc, chair of the Vietnam Pangasius Association (VINAPA), said that Vietnam’s catfish industry depends on the Chinese market. The demand from the market is weakening as Chinese have intensified catfish farming.

Quoc also expressed concern over the uncontrolled farming in many localities in the Mekong Delta, including Long An, which may put the entire industry at risk and threaten the environment.

Regarding exports to the EU, Nguyen Huu Dung, chair of the Vietnam Seaculture Association (VSA), commented that while the government of Vietnam shows strong determination to remove the yellow card on Vietnamese seafood over illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, the implementation remains slow.

In addition, rice exporters can anticipate difficulties in exporting rice to the Chinese market as China has strengthened control over imports. Three Vietnamese enterprises out of 22 rice exporters met problems as their products could not satisfy the requirements. Meanwhile, exports to China amount to 30 percent of total rice exports.

Sugar producers had a bad year in 2018. Nguyen Van Dong from the agriculture department of Hau Giang, the sugar cane metropolis of Mekong Delta, said the sugar industry failed because of smuggled sugar and pressure from global integration.

The Vietnam Sugar and Sugarcane Association has asked the government to extend the deadline for removing the sugar import quota until 2022.

VNF  ( Vietnamnet )
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