A seafood processing line at An Giang Fisheries Import-Export Company in the southern province of An Giang. (Source: VNA) 

Hanoi (VNA) - Only one percent of total enterprises in Vietnam have invested in agriculture, and 55 percent of these are small scale, capitalised at under 5 billion VND (220,250 USD), said Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong.

Most of these investors have not undertaken professional investment activities and not applied hi-tech and state-of-the-art equipment in their projects, he told business representatives at a recent dialogue on investment organised in Hanoi by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).

Besides, the firms have not cooperated with scientists and farmers in the production chain. The result was high production costs, low competitive ability and inefficiency in investment.

For their part, business representatives called on the State to initiate more specific and preferential policies to draw investment to agriculture.

Minister Cuong said the Government has enacted preferential policies in taxes, credit, land and training to encourage investment in agriculture and rural areas. It has also developed high-tech enterprises in the agricultural sector and enforced regulations on public private partnerships (PPP) in agriculture and the rural area.

As a result, the number of enterprises investing in agriculture increased from 2,397 in 2007 to 3,640 in 2015 and to 4,080 in the first nine months of this year, he said, adding that the development of investment in agriculture is unstable and the potential for more investment in the sector has not been tapped.

Those enterprises that do invest in agriculture had encountered difficulties such as weather and limitations in land, credit and tax policies.

Dinh Cao Khue, chairman of vegetable and food exporter Dong Giao Food Export JSC, said agriculture is one of the sectors with a trade surplus, but it has few support policies. For instance, enterprises find it difficult to obtain land for developing agricultural projects.

According to Chairwoman of TH Group Thai Huong, ministries and sectors have not come together to support enterprises in investment activities for agriculture. She urged the MARD to propose policies for agriculture with support from other ministries and sectors.

Huong proposed that the state should choose goods which have an advantage in competition on world markets, with specific preferential policies such as development of the best rice variety.  he state should also set standards for farming products that meet international standards.

At present, the MARD has promoted the restructuring of agriculture to improve the value of farming products and achieve sustainable development in agriculture. One of the restructuring solutions has been to attract more investors, especially for building up chains from production to processing and consumption.

Minister Cuong affirmed that the Government has been focusing on improving the investment environment and encouraging enterprises to invest in agriculture, promising a breakthrough soon in preferential policies to instill confidence among investors, especially in hi-tech and clean farming.-VNA