Vietnam hopes to receive more support from the Japanese Government to develop its agricultural sector in a modern direction, ensuring food security and adapting to climate change, a Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) senior official has said.

MARD Deputy Minister Nguyen Thi Xuan Thu made the statement during a seminar to review agricultural cooperation between Vietnam and Japan, which was jointly held by MARD and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in Hanoi on May 5.

The Deputy Minister added that Vietnam will send its people to Japan as soon as possible to work with JICA on areas that Vietnam needs support.

Thu noted that Japan has funded more than 30 projects supporting Vietnam’s agricultural sector while offering the sector non-refundable and emergency aid of about 150 million USD.

Besides, Japan has supported a number of irrigation and forestry projects with loans totalling nearly 500 million USD, contributing to improving the sector’s infrastructure system and developing agricultural and rural areas in a sustainable way, she said.

Tsuno Motonori, JICA Chief Representative in Vietnam, affirmed that in the future, Japan ’s assistance will focus on improving Vietnam’s international competitiveness through investment projects in infrastructure, narrowing the development gap between urban and rural areas and enhancing management capacity for public servants.

He said agricultural and rural development is a key sector that will receive more Japanese ODA in the future.

JICA experts said JICA cooperation mechanisms are mainly through non-refundable aid, technology and loan cooperation.

Together with cooperation in forestry and climate change adaptation and natural disaster prevention, cooperation programmes between the two countries are expected to improve production technologies for farmers, upgrade agricultural infrastructure and promote dialogue between MARD and international donors, therefore increasing people’s incomes in rural areas.

In order to utilise cooperation efficiency between the two sides, JICA suggested that Vietnam strengthens coordination among relevant ministries and agencies from central to local levels, while improving its mechanisms and policies in the field.

The same day, MARD Minister Cao Duc Phat granted a MARD insignia to Tsuno Motonori in recognition of his contributions to agricultural and rural development in Vietnam.-VNA