Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat called on private enterprises to invest in the post-harvest processing sector to add more values to Vietnamese agro-products.

Addressing a conference held by the International Support Group in Hanoi on December 9, Phat said that it was necessary to create a favourable investment environment to encourage businesses to invest in the agricultural sector.

The ministry will review mechanisms and policies to improve the investment and business environment in the sector, the minister said at the conference, which was entitled “Promoting the processing industry-Opportunities and Challenges”.

The development of the processing industry is not only an urgent requirement to add more values to the end-products, create jobs and improve income for farmers, but also a driving force for boosting farming production, the minister added.

The enterprises are advised to apply science and technology to shift towards highly-competitive processed products.

Meanwhile, Nguyen Trong Thua, head of the Department of Processing and Trade for Agro-forestry-fisheries Products, said that one of the priorities would be to reduce post-harvest loss in agriculture and fishery by 50 percent by 2020.

Other priorities are innovating technologies, increasing the rate of finely processed products and ensuring the hygiene while keeping the price competitive and meeting the demand of tough markets.

Investing in advanced technologies to produce high-valued products from the by-products is also a priority.

The delegates at the conference also emphasised the need of improving the quality of the workforce to meet the criteria required to process and preserve products.

Besides that, policies on taxes and credit also should be improved towards ensuring the convenience, transparency and fairness among economic sectors and a clear and stable legal framework to manage the quality is needed.

According to the Department, the agro-product processing sector occupies 20 percent of the processing industry’s GDP and is growing at 7.44 percent, positively contributing to the country’s GDP.-VNA