New production models including large-scale farming that have been introduced and proven effective in recent years will drive the agriculture sector's growth in coming years, heard a seminar in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho on September 4.

The seminar was held to review five years of implementing the Party Central Committee's Resolution No.7 on developing the agriculture and rural areas; and to assess impacts of the Government's investment policies on the agricultural sector, farmers' livelihoods and development of rural areas.

In attendance were Deputy Prime Minister Vu Van Ninh, Chairman of the NA Economic Committee Nguyen Van Giau, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat, many other senior officials, scientists, businessmen and farmers.

Giau said the seminar is a forum for multifaceted dialogue between enterprises, cooperatives, farmers, scientists and state management agencies that will help select the most effective agricultural production models and management methods in agricultural production for nationwide expansion in the coming years.

Participants can also highlight difficulties arising out of current policies related to agriculture, farmers and rural areas so that the Party and Government are able to address them as soon as possible, he added.

In a report presented at the seminar, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) said large-scale rice farming is one of the new production models proving effective in recent times, since it has helped farmers earn higher profits.

The ministry claimed the new model has helped farmers reduce production costs while increasing productivity and quality, enabling them to raise profits by as much as 2.2-7.5 million VND per hectare last year.

In the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta, known as the nation's rice basket, 20,000ha were placed under large-scale rice cultivation last year.

The figure is expected to increase significantly and reach 100,000-200,000ha by the end of this year, the ministry said.

The report said that other models, including a "closed chain" that covers production, processing, distribution and trading; cooperatives; and a cooperation arrangement between farmers and enterprises have also achieved high efficiency in agricultural production.

The seminar heard 20 presentations that focused on different aspects of new production models and new management methods in rural areas, including the role of farmers' associations in propagating them as well as measures that can help farmers escape poverty.

However, despite initial successes, there are difficulties that will hinder expansion of the new models, the ministry cautioned.

For instance, all localities, ministries and industries do not have the same view of large-scale rice cultivation, it said.

Efforts to establish linkages between farmers and businesses have so far concentrated on production phase and are yet to ensure stable outlets for farm produce, making it difficult for farmers to enjoy stable prices and incomes, it added.

The seminar was organised by MARD in collaboration with the National Assembly Economic Committee and the Vietnam Farmers' Association.-VNA