Phan Xuan Dung, Head of the National Assembly Committee for Science, Technology and Environment, spoke with Thoi bao Kinh te Viet Nam (Vietnam Economic Times) about developing agriculture.

*In recent years, the Government has adopted many policies on agriculture to help improve the farmers' living conditions. However, many bottlenecks still exist during the implementation. What is your position on this?

The government has paid special attention to the development of the agriculture sector. However, good and effective policies to help the sector to enhance its potentials, including advantages, remain a concern of many people, both Government officials and farmers.

Vietnamese people, particularly farmers, are known as creative and hard working. But, hard work alone cannot make them rich. It requires many other factors, of which the Government's good policy is of great importance. That is why I stress that the Government should seek measures as soon as possible to help improve the lives of the farmers.
*The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development plays a very important role in seeking out ways for the agriculture sector. However, their supervising role of the industry is very blurred. How do you respond to that?

This is a very complicated and demanding issue. In my point of view, to solve this issue, the two ministries - the agriculture ministry and the science and technology ministry - are the most important. Yet, they need active support and coordination from other agencies and sectors, particularly the Ministry of Planning and Investment and the Ministry of Finance. Another factor that cannot be forgotten is the consultation with the people.

*In your opinion, what are the burning issues of our farming industry at present?

Our agriculture sector at present is facing five major groups of issues.

The first group of issues is the quality of products, price and good production planning.

Regarding the quality and price of the agriculture products, issues of the distribution network, preferential loans from credit organisations and food safety have been recently addressed.

Also, it is important to review and change the existing production plan so that it will be in line with the Government's policy in restructuring the agriculture sector and to develop a market for its products in the context of international integration.

The second group of issues is the restructuring and coordination between science and technology organisations.

I have to concede that there is a slow change in the scientific and technological management in our country. Their activities mainly focus on financial management and administrative procedures, not on the quality of the research.

In addition, research topics do not always reflect the country's requirements or the market.

The third group of issues is the Government's policies towards science and technology within the agriculture sector.

The 2013 Law on Science and Technology (revision) has emphasised the imperative to further promote the transfer of science and technology into agriculture.

The law has enabled enterprises to invest more in rural areas and in agriculture.

Under the law, young scientific workers who volunteer to work in the countryside will receive special treatment. They will serve as a bridge linking "the state, the scientists, the farmers and the enterprises" as it has been enshrined in the government's agricultural policies.

The fourth is the investment in agriculture.

And finally is the issue of building the new rural model.

We have to continue the campaign and ensure that it will be sustainable.-VNA