Agriculture still grows, braving African swine fever epidemic hinh anh 1An organic agricultural cooperative in An Binh ward of Rach Gia city, the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The whole agricultural sector has maintained relatively good growth in the first half of 2019 despite a number of difficulties, especially the African swine fever epidemic, which has left a heavy impact on domestic animal husbandry.

The information was released by Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Phung Duc Tien at a press meeting in Hanoi on June 17.

He noted in the six months, the growth rate of agricultural production value was estimated at 2.7 – 2.9 percent compared to the same period last year. That comprises the expansion of 1.68 percent in agriculture (including plant and animal farming), 4.53 percent in forestry, and 6.5 percent in fisheries.

The sector has worked to develop cattle, poultry and aquatic farming to make up for a possible pork shortage at the end of this year as a result of the African swine fever epidemic.

Tien cited data of the General Statistics Office as showing that the number of cattle farmed nationwide has increased by 2.9 percent while the amount of live cattle sold for meat was about 193,000 tonnes, up 4 percent from a year earlier, thanks to good consumption and high prices which have encouraged the farming.

The number of farmed poultry has risen by 11 – 12 percent as there were no epidemics. Meanwhile, good growth has also been recorded in fisheries and it is hoped at 6.5 – 6.7 percent in 2019.

Highlighting the growth in overseas shipments, the official said the exports target of 43 billion USD for this year is high but still achievable, adding that the proportion of high-quality products in agricultural production and exports has increased.

Total agro-forestry-fishery exports are estimated at 19.75 billion USD in the reviewed period, up 2.1 percent year on year.-VNA