Agriculture sector works towards reaching 40 bln USD export target hinh anh 1Harvesting litchi in Thanh Ha district, Hai Duong province(Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - A host of measures have been suggested for the agriculture sector to reach the target of 40 billion USD in export revenue this year, given the impact of COVID-19 and now natural disasters.

Nguyen Quoc Toan, Director of the Agro Processing and Market Development Authority under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), said COVID-19 has seriously affected the export of farm produce. Maintaining growth would be a major success, he said.

In the first nine months of the year, Toan noted, farm produce exports totalled 30.05 billion USD, up 1.6 percent year-on-year, and were about 3.9 billion USD in October.

Eight product groups saw have posted export revenue in excess of 1 billion USD, while six others export more than 2 billion USD worth of goods.

Vietnam also shipped 4.8 million tonnes of rice in the first nine months, earning 2.4 billion USD - down 0.8 percent year-on-year in volume but up 11.8 percent in value.

Figures are expected to continue to rise thanks to the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), according to Vice President of the Vietnam Food Association Do Hao Nam.

Meanwhile, wood and furniture exports hit 8.48 billion USD in the nine-month period, an increase of 12.4 percent year-on-year.

President of the Vietnam Timber and Forest Product Association, Do Xuan Loc, said the sector will continue to expand in the future, especially in the EU thanks to the EVFTA.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Phung Duc Tien said that along with greater demand amid the pandemic, a key factor in rising agricultural exports is improvements in the quality of farm produce.

Orders from the EU have risen since August 1 when the EVFTA took effect, he said, adding that entering into such a selective market will pave the way for local farm produce to penetrate into other markets.

Over the remainder of the year, natural disasters and especially the pandemic are expected to continue to be complex issues, but the agriculture sector has still set a goal of exports exceeding 10 billion USD, bringing the annual total to 40 billion USD.

Authorised agencies and businesses are both working hard to reach the target.

Thai Huong, President of the Council of Strategy at the TH Group, said it has put into operation a fresh fruit processing facility with a capacity of 300 tonnes a day.

Meanwhile, Director of the MARD’s Department of Crop Production Nguyen Nhu Cuong said it will work closely with localities to provide seeds to farmers to stabilise production after the recent flooding, while supporting northern localities to step up the production of fruits and vegetables for export.

Twelve Vietnamese firms, meanwhile, have received licences to export aquatic products to Saudi Arabia, while such exports to the US are forecast to continue heading upwards.

Toan said the department will focus on promoting the export of strong aquatic products over the remainder of the year.

Tien said the MARD will coordinate closely with the Ministry of Industry and Trade to remain abreast of the situation in major markets such as China, Japan, the US, and the EU, to support businesses.

He recommended that exporters clearly understand the commitments in the FTAs Vietnam has signed, especially those relating to quality, origin, and food safety./.