MARD Deputy Minister Ha Cong Tuan addresses the press conference (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) will speed up the restructuring process as part of efforts to ensure the set growth target for the year will be achieved, said Deputy Minister Ha Cong Tuan.

Speaking at a quarterly press conference of the ministry in Hanoi on April 3, Tuan said that this year, the ministry will focus on measures to stabilize and expand export markets, as difficulties are being seen in many major markets of Vietnamese agro-forestry-fishery products, including China, the EU, and the US.

In 2018, the sector aims for a GDP growth of at least 3 percent, along with 40.5 billion USD in export revenue, nearly 40 percent of communes nationwide recognised as new-style rural areas, and 41.65 percent of forest coverage.

Tuan said that together with restructuring to improve productivity and quality of farm produces, the ministry will design plans to develop major product groups to meet market demands and adapt to climate change.

Agricultural product processing will receive more attention, he added.

Meanwhile, Tran Van Cong, deputy head of the MARD’s Department of Processing and Trade for Agro-forestry-fisheries Products, said that the ministry will drastically streamline and simplify administrative procedures. In April, the ministries will reduce procedures of inspection to avoid overlapping.

According to the General Statistics Office, in the first quarter of 2018, the GDP growth of the sector reached 4.05 percent, the highest figure in the recent 13 years. Production value of agro-forestry-fisheries products was estimated at about 189.5 trillion VND, up 4.18 percent over the same period last year.

Export revenue of the products in the first three months of this year hit nearly 8.7 billion USD, a rise of 9.6 percent year on year and reaching 21.4 percent of the yearly target.

As of March 20, the country has 3,289 communes, or 36.84 percent of total communes, have been recognised as new-style rural areas, 220 communes higher than that in the end of 2017.-VNA