Agriculture minister explains new regulations to US firms hinh anh 1Illustrative image (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong explained several new regulations regarding agriculture during a working session in Hanoi on March 8 with Senior Vice President of the US-ASEAN Business Council Michael Michalak.

At the session, a representative from the US’s Cargill Corporation said while the company fully supports the removal of antibiotics as growth promoters starting January 2018, Circular 06/2016/TT-BNNPTNT includes a limited list of antibiotics and guidelines for use that under its current form will severely limit the capacity of farmers to prevent, treat and cure diseases.

The corporation asked the MARD to provide clarity to the industry with regards to next steps as time is running short, or if needed, a further extension to Circular 26 that delays the implementation of the new antibiotics guidelines from January to July 2017, in consideration of the amount of work that yet remains to be done between MARD and stakeholders in the industry to implement a Risk-based approach framework to support the responsible use of antibiotics in animal feeds.

Minister Cuong said the abuse of antibiotics in both human and livestock is posing a rising threat of drug resistance, hence the need for a legal framework to prevent it. He added that Vietnam will work with stakeholders in this matter, with a view to choosing a comprehensive solution for animal husbandry rather than using antibiotics.

Discussing the new regulation that requires the spraying of chemicals on distiller’s dried grains (DDGS) from the US before being exported to Vietnam as from April 2017, the minister said it is normal that the two sides proposed different chemicals to be used in the procedure.

He said he will direct the Plant Protection Department to work closely with related businesses to seek an effective solution accepted by both sides.

About the halted registration of imported plant protection drugs, especially those for rice, Cuong said Vietnam is shifting to eco-friendly fertilisers, particularly organic and micro-organic ones, together with technological application in production.

Vietnam pays attention to environment protection and needs to review such process for better control, he said.

The minister welcomed Microsoft’s intention to cooperate with the ministry’s Department of Science and Technology, especially amid the fourth industrial revolution in the world. He instructed the Department of Science and Technology and Department of International Cooperation to discuss the cooperation in details with the US group.

Michael Michalak, for his part, thanked Cuong for his response to the US businesses’ questions and proposals, noting that the best way to address the problems is to create a framework for Vietnamese and US experts to work together in handling them.-VNA