Farmers tend their rice fields in the Mekong Delta. (Source: SGGP)

Hanoi (VNA) – Developing the agricultural value chain in the Mekong Delta was focus of the national policy dialogue forum held in Hanoi on December 14.

Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry Tran Quoc Khanh highlighted agriculture’s important role in growth to solve domestic and foreign consumers’ increasing demand on hygiene and high-quality food. The Mekong Delta is a potential area for agricultural development in terms of output and added value.

In the region, agriculture attracts between 32 percent and 70 percent of workforce, but contributes just between 11 percent and 30 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP).

The contribution could be higher if there is better connection between the producer and local and international markets, which require agro products with better quality.

Professor Sisira Jayasurya, Director of the Centre for Development Economics and Sustainability, said Vietnam needs to create support policies on building infrastructure to maximise the benefit of the connection between farmers and enterprises.

Vietnam also needs to improve the quality and competitiveness of agro-products, said Jayasurya.

Vo Tri Thanh, Head of the Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM), said a new agriculture needs three factors: the scale advantage to attract capital and technology; links with all relevant parties in the production and supply chain; and suitability for social, cultural, regional and lifestyle characteristics.

At the forum, participants recommended three solutions for the Mekong Delta to have a high-value, sustainable agriculture, namely prioritising infrastructure development, enhancing agricultural supply chain and empowering small-scale producers.-VNA