Fishermen in central coastal Quang Tri province (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) –
The gross domestic product (GDP) of agriculture, forestry and fishery is estimated to expand from 3.95 percent to 4.05 percent in the first six months of 2018, the highest level in 10 recent years.

The production value of agro-forestry-fishery is expected to increase by 4.2 percent, of which cultivation will record a year-on-year rise of 4.12 percent, animal husbandry 2.04 percent, forestry 5.21 percent and aquaculture 6.49 percent.

Speaking at a conference of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in Hanoi on June 28, Minister Nguyen Xuan Cuong recognised the sector’s proactive implementation of measures to achieve set targets for the January-June period.

In cultivation, 32,800 hectares of ineffective rice land has been shifted for vegetables, fruit trees and perennial industrial trees with high economic efficiency while the use of high-quality varieties has been increased along with the expansion of large-scale fields of rice and other crops and the promotion of production according to Vietnamese Good Agricultural Practices.

Livestock production is generally favourable with stable prices of beef and poultry products. Some livestock products have been exported to markets with high requirements for quality and control of food hygiene and safety.

The favourable weather conditions make it easier for fishing activities. Added to that, ministries and localities have actively implemented policies to support production and continue compensating damages, stabilising lives and resuming production for people in four central provinces affected by the marine environmental incident in 2016.

Aquaculture production was estimated at 1.79 million tonnes, up 6.2 percent over the same period last year with high growth in brackish water shrimp and tra fish.

The restructuring of the forestry sector is quite significant with the operation of high value forestry production models and large-scale timber trade ones. Particularly, the production and processing of forestry products for exports have seen strong development while the domestic wood market has been thriving.

As of June 25, the country had 3,370 communes (37.76 percent) recognised as new rural areas. The ratio is expected to increase to 40 percent at the end of this year. 

Head of the Department of Planning under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Van Viet said the agricultural production outcomes in the first six months of the year illustrates an optimistic economic panoramic, which will create a momentum for growth in the last remaining months. 

The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) forecast that the global rice trade will continue growing along with the surge of tropical fruits and high demand for aquatic products. 

Therefore, the country’s export of farm produce is likely to maintain higher growth than the first six months (over 12 percent) and the yearly export target is projected to reach 40-41 billion USD. 

The country could harvest 43.9 million tonnes of rice, up at least 1.2 million tonnes compared to 2017, if the weather is favourable. 

It is expected to rake in over 5.5 billion USD from selling abroad tea, coffee, rubber, pepper and cashew nuts in 2018 and 4.5-4.7 billion USD from vegetables and fruits. 

Minister Cuong said in 2018, the Government has assigned ministries to ensure high growth targets in the context of challenges posed by climate change, fiercer global competitiveness, trade protection barriers from countries, and risks of diseases. 

Thereby, ministries need to follow growth scenarios and targets of the Government’s Resolution No.1/NQ-CP on key tasks and solutions to realising socio-economic development plans and State budget estimate 2018.-VNA