Farmers should focus on market-oriented agricultural production to boost the sector’s growth, said Minister of Agricultural and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat at the monthly cabinet meeting on June 29 in Hanoi.

He also urged localities to develop resilient crops to deal with natural disasters in the second half of this year.

He attributed difficulties facing agricultural production in the first half of this year to drought and market demand.

Rice output, which accounts for 40 percent of total agricultural production, has seen a 160,000-tonne reduction from the first half of last year due to drought.

Exports of rice, rubber and aquatic products have also seen a decline in the reviewed period.

The Minister asked localities to promote livestock, especially raising cattle, to fully tap economic demand, which has seen a growth rate of 6 percent.

Focus should also be on the prawn and tra fish sector in tandem with economic forest planting, Phat said.-VNA