Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai on December 28 urged the agriculture sector to make drastic changes in order to become more sustainable.

Speaking at a conference held by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Hai highlighted the importance of improving the sector's competitiveness through raising productivity, product quality and the value-added to the products.

He declared that agriculture is still the backbone of the economy, playing an important role in stabilising the macro-economy. However, he said that some shortcomings have been exposed such as poor planning, unrealistic policies and a lack of speed in applying technology in production.

Hai called for the ministry to improve their agricultural strategy, particularly by developing the consumption market and infrastructure to ensure that farmers could benefit more from their products.

Investment must be continuously poured into the application of science and technology and breeding research, as this will prove decisive in reviving the sector, the minister stressed, adding that the ministry should issue policies that attract investment and promote the role of associations and co-operatives in boosting consumption.

Next year, the sector targets to reach a GDP growth of 2.8-3 percent, an export revenue of 28 billion USD and an increase of 1 billion USD compared to this year's figure.

Minister Cao Duc Phat said the development of clean and technology-intensive agriculture will be prioritised, encouraging farmers to apply advanced production procedure to raise product value and quality.

The ministry will also boost inspections to better control the origin and quality of breeding species and cattle feed.

This year, agriculture production generated a revenue of 255 trillion VND (12 billion USD), representing an increase of 3.4 percent from last year.

Four products with an export value exceeding 3 billion USD are seafood, furniture, rice and coffee.-VNA