Vietnam’s agricultural exports are likely to earn the country 27 billion USD this year, said the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat.

The Thoi bao Kinh Te newspaper (Economic Times) quoted Phat as saying that apart from rice, rubber and cassava, which have faced various difficulties, many other agricultural produce such as coffee and aquatic products have seen exports rise.

According to the minister, the success of the country’s agricultural exports depends a lot on how much effort is made by businesses and the level of State support.

“The total volume of agricultural produce that Vietnam exports only makes up a very small percentage of global output. However, whether or not we can sell our goods and wrestle control of the market is up to us, not our partners,” he said.

In 2011, agricultural exports reached 25 billion USD, equivalent to one quarter of the country’s total export turnover. In the first half of this year, farm produce is estimated to enjoy an export growth of 14 percent.

If this rate of growth is maintained, the target of earning 27 billion USD from exports of agricultural products this year should be reached, said Phat.

However, the minister pointed out the challenges that the agricultural sector still has to face by the end of the year, such as declining markets, diseases on crops and animals, and falling prices.

To cope with these challenges, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has worked with a number of agencies and provinces to address the issue and increase the domestic consumption of agricultural products, he said.

“We have followed closely developments on the market and promptly informed farmers so that they can adjust their production plans,” Minister Phat said.

The ministry has also invited several overseas specialists to work out ways of helping farmers to control diseases and apply advances in science and technology to reduce production costs, he added./.