Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc addressed the teleconference on January 3 (Photo: VNA)
 
Hanoi (VNA) – The GDP and production value of the agricultural sector is hoped to expand over 3 percent and over 3.11 percent respectively in 2019, heard a teleconference on January 3, which was held to review the sector’s achievements during 2018.

The sector’s export turnover is set to reach over 43 billion USD, while at least 50 percent of communes and 70 district-level units are expected to be recognised as new-style rural areas in the year ahead. The forest coverage is projected to reach 41.85 percent.

At the event, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc asked the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) to accelerate the sector’s restructuring in connection with growth model reform, rural economic development, and new-style rural building.

He called for more efforts in developing markets, supply-demand forecast work, and building branding for Vietnamese agro-forestry-aquaculture products.

The new-style rural area building should focus on improving the incomes and material conditions of local people, he stressed.

The agro-forestry-aquaculture GDP in 2018 reported growth of 3.76 percent –a record figure for the last seven years. Its production value increased 3.86 percent. The rate of forest coverage was 41.65 percent. The sector’s export turnover was estimated to reach 40.02 billion USD.

A total of 3,787 communes nationwide or 42.4 percent were recognised as new-style rural areas, representing a year-on-year rise of 8.02 percent. 

In 2018, the agriculture and rural development sector actively responded to complicated developments of weather, while being flexible in adapting to changes in the agricultural market and ensuring safe production.

It gradually overcame internal weaknesses of small-scale production in response to the requirement of large-scale commodity production.

Therefore, the industry achieved high results, creating a substantive change in the three strategic breakthroughs – restructuring the agricultural sector in association with the renovation of the growth model and new rural building.

The production structure continued to be adjusted appropriately,more effectively, and in line with the market demand. Value chain-based production was expanded, helping improve the output of many types of high value-added agricultural products, meeting domestic and export demands.

A highlight of the sector in 2018 was that localities have organised measures to timely support the consumption of agricultural products through conferences, festivals, and forums to promote the popularity of farm products.

As many as 2,200 agricultural enterprises were newly established in 2018, up 12.3 percent year-on-year, lifting the total of those nationwide to 9,235.

However, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong pointed out limitations, weaknesses, and many challenges that must be overcome in the time ahead.

He underlined the need to speed up the restructuring of the agriculture sector across localities, and swiftly remove the EC’s“yellow card” warning on illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing.

In order to successfully implement the goals and tasks set for it, the agricultural sector aims to build a smart agriculture in the direction of promoting international integration and climate change adaptation, as well as increasing the added value of products and sustainable development in connection with building prosperous and civilized new style-rural areas.

Minister of Industry and Trade Tran Tuan Anh said the sector needs to boost production, improve product quality, open markets, and take advantage of the tariff preferences brought about by free trade agreements.

Building brand names based on the quality of products must be considered a leading factor, he stressed, adding that high-tech agricultural development and the reorganisation of production must aim to improve the competitiveness of products.–VNA