Can Tho (VNA) – A delegation led by Minister and Secretary General of the presidency of Ivory Coast Patrick Achi with Can Tho authorities in the Mekong Delta city on May 28 to discuss agriculture cooperation.

At the event, Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Dung said Can Tho and Ivory Coast share similarities in agricultural development plans. As home to several agriculture research institutes and universities, Can Tho is well-positioned to develop rice and fruit farming, and aquaculture.

He said Can Tho could partner with Ivory Coast localities to boost aquaculture, cattle and fowl farming, rice processing and preservation.

Achi, for his part, said the delegation will learn about Vietnam’s development models to seek driving forces for Ivory Coast’s growth in the near future.

According to him, Ivory Coast is the world’s top cashew nut and cocoa producer and leads Africa in terms of rubber and palm tree growing and others. However, it is struggling to develop agriculture and to process farm produce for export. Despite having 400km of coastline, the country has to import 90 percent of frozen fish due to underdeveloped aquaculture.

He suggested both sides cooperate in rice studies to choose high-quality varieties, and boost mechanisation in agriculture.

The guest also wished to boost bilateral links in farm produce processing for export and aquaculture.

He said the government allows localities to import raw rice for processing while Can Tho is strong in rice materials and processing technology, adding that apart from ongoing government and ministry-level coordination, he wants further links between localities in the field.

Leaders of the municipal Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Mekong Delta Rice Research Institute introduced Can Tho’s strengths in production, processing and exports of rice, aquatic products and fruit.

At present, 80 percent of the province’s specialty rice is grown for export with a total annual output of nearly 1.3 million tonnes. The second major currency earner is tra fish with a yearly output of 160,000 tonnes.-VNA