Agriculture sector targets 33 billion USD from exports in 2017 (Source: VNA)
 
Hanoi (VNA) – The agriculture sector will have to make greater efforts to fulfil three major targets set for this year with responsibility given to leaders of each units.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong made the affirmation at a conference in Hanoi on June 30 to review the sector’s performances in the first half of this year and lay out orientations for the second half.

The targets include a growth rate of 3.05 percent, 33 billion USD in export turnover of agro-forestry-aquatic products, and 31 percent of the country’s communes nationwide meeting the new-style rural area building standards.

Cuong underlined difficulties related to market and weather condition facing the sector over the first six months of this year, saying that most of the basic targets set by the Government have been fulfilled.

However, the Minister pointed out shortcomings, particularly the poor, unsustainable value chain, low investment, a lack of closed production lines, poor qualifications of personnel and loose coordination among stakeholders.

The minister also highlighted challenges the sector is likely to face in the second half of the year, particularly difficulties on both domestic and foreign markets, as well as weaknesses in processing and marketing.

Hoang Thanh Van, Director of the Ministry’s Department of Animal Husbandry, mentioned the sluggish growth in livestock breeding, particularly in pig farming.

He suggested the ministry instruct localities to join hands in helping local farmers to enhance the efficiency of the animal husbandry.

Minister Cuong said conferences will be organised to seek ways to boost exports of chicken meat and pork, not only to the Chinese market but also other markets.

He stressed the need to restructure the livestock sector, saying that all units must review their planning schemes taking in account market and climate change factors.

According to Vu Duc Hung, Vice Director of the Ministry’s Department of Planning, the agriculture sector recorded a growth rate at 2.65 percent in the first half of 2017, with the highest increases seen in aquatic products (5.08 percent) and in forestry (4.31 percent).

The export value of agro-forestry-aquatic products reached 17.1 billion USD, up 13.1 percent from the same period last year.

By the end of June, as many as 2,745 communes were recognised as new-style rural areas, or 30.76 percent of the total nation’s number, up 89 communes as compared to the same period last year. Thirty four districts got the new-style rural area status, an increase of 11 districts from the end of 2016.-VNA