Illustrative image (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The Central Committee of the Vietnam Farmers' Union (the sixth tenure) held its 10th meeting in Hanoi on January 4 to review the 2016 implementation and set out tasks for 2017.

President of the union Lai Xuan Mon said in 2016, numerous natural disasters hit the nation, causing losses amounting to 1.7 billion USD to the agriculture sector, or nearly one percent of the national GDP.

The Government for the first time called for assistance from international organisations and mobilized 26.4 million USD from all sources for affected localities, Mon said.

Thanks to the timely support, the agriculture sector was still able to post a growth rate of 1.36 percent and an increase of 1.44 percent in production value, earned 32.1 billion USD from agro-forestry and fishery exports, an increase of 5.4 percent from 2015.

The Farmers’ Union has launched a wide range of programmes to help farmers to improve their production and living condition.

The Supporting Fund for Farmers mobilised over 311 trillion VND (13.68 billion USD), offering preferential loans for over 6,800 farming households. Nearly 500 cooperative production models have been developed, contributing to strengthening connection among farmers in production and products consumption.

The union’s chapters at all levels organised training workshops and transferred technology on cultivation, animal husbandry, aquaculture, small-industry and handicraft for over 2.9 million members. They also set up 9,350 piloted production models in accordance with the national Good Agricultural Practice (VietGAP) standard.

Participants focused their discussion on shortcomings and challenges facing the union with a view to reforming the union’s operation.

They stressed the building of linkages among farmers and between farmers and enterprises along with the restructuring of agricultural production in the direction of creating value chains.    

In 2017, the association will coordinate with relevant agencies to enhance farmers’ understanding of international integration to ensure the key role of agriculture and rural areas in the nation’s economic development.-VNA