Meeting seeks to develop Vietnam’s agriculture amid COVID-19 hinh anh 1Harvesting dragon fruits in Binh Thuan (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – A plenary meeting of the International Support Group (ISG), themed “Vietnam agriculture and rural development in the context of COVID-19: Opportunities and Challenges”, took place in Hanoi on December 11.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Quoc Doanh said apart from the COVID-19 impacts, agriculture sector and rural residents are also hit by climate change, natural disasters and epidemics.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) worked closely with ministries, agencies, localities and international community to adopt timely and effective measures.

As a result, farm produce export was estimated at 37.42 billion USD in 11 months of this year, up 2.4 percent annually.

He called on the domestic agriculture sector to take comprehensive and flexible measures to ensure food security, maintain growth and export, improve livelihoods and income of rural residents, and propel sustainable development, during which international support is needed.

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative Caitlin Wiesen said her organisation is assisting Vietnam in overcoming disaster and COVID-19 consequences via technological transfer and product quality improvement. She added that UNDP could help Vietnam’s agriculture mitigate risks via insurance and support for small and medium-sized enterprises, and cooperatives.

Participants discussed the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic on the economy, farming households and businesses, the disruption of farm produce supply chain, environment risks, national and global food security.

They also offered policy recommendations and solutions to the pandemic in the field of agriculture and rural development, debated the building of international cooperation programmes to restore farming production and trade, and link up with the global supply chain amid the pandemic.

At the event, the MARD adopted a joint declaration reflecting commitment to promoting the sustainable development of Vietnam’s agriculture and rural areas, contributing to fulfilling the Government’s dual goals of fighting the pandemic and developing the economy.

Following the event, the ministry will work with each partner to materialise the joint declaration, Doanh said./.