Lychee growers in Bac Giang province are selling their products. (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The agricultural sector must seek all possible ways to recover its growth, not only for the second half of this year but for years to come, said Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat at a meeting with the press on June 16.

Between now and the year’s end, the sector will focus on overcoming the consequences of natural disasters and restoring production, while grasping market information and proposing solutions to maintain domestic and foreign markets, he said.

He urged the Department of Crop Production to coordinate with local authorities to help farmers re-plant perennial trees, replacing those destroyed by drought and diseases.

Meanwhile, the Department of Plant Protection must control diseases and recommend measures to ensure safe vegetables, tea and pepper in order to restore customers’ confidence in Vietnamese agricultural products, he stated.

Minister Phat asked the animal husbandry should promote production in a sustainable manner while closely supervising the use of pesticides and antibiotics to prevent the abuse of chemicals in breeding.

According to the ministry’s report, due to the impacts of El Nino and climate change, prolonged drought has damaged nearly 250,000 ha of rice, 18,960 ha of other crops, 30,500 ha of fruit trees, and 149,700 ha of industrial trees. As many as 1,355 cattle and poultry died and thousands others faced water shortages.

By the middle of May, total losses caused by natural disasters amounted to over 6.7 trillion VND (433 million USD).-VNA