Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Quoc Doanh speaks at the workshop (Photo: baocongthuong.com.vn)

Hanoi (VNA) – Experts and policy-makers from eight Southeast Asian countries gathered in a workshop on “The Role of Livestock in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Southeast Asia” in Hanoi on November 16.

The event, held by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), sought to enhance current contribution of the livestock industry to the sustainable livelihood and develop its potentials in the region.

Speaking at the workshop, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Quoc Doanh said Vietnam has adopted the National Action Plan to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which promotes sustainable agriculture among its goals.

The country has been implementing agricultural reforms, including steps to improve added values of livestock farming and at the same time, develop livelihoods of the farmers, protect the environment and ensure food safety, Doanh noted.

The livestock industry grew about 4.5 – 5 percent annually between 2011 and 2016 and contributed to around 30 – 32 percent of the agricultural earnings, he added.

Director of the National Institute of Animal Sciences Nguyen Thanh Son said progress in livestock farming plays a major part in achieving ten out of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). He expected public awareness of the significance of the livestock industry to the SDGs will be improved in the time ahead while there will be more activities to encourage investment into the sector to maximize its contribution to the SDGs.

Livestock helps boost economic growth, creates incomes, and improve food security, nutrition and human health, said ILRI Director General Jimmy Smith, adding that research and development activities and policy support programmes are able to transform small and medium-scale breeding farms in the region into more adaptive, efficient and dynamic food supply systems, bringing better opportunity for women and young people.

At the workshop, attendees shared experience and study findings about the growth of the livestock in Southeast Asia and the regional countries’ priorities and investment plans for the sector to develop sustainably. They also discussed ways to step up cooperation between the countries and organisations in the region to address common challenges in the field.-VNA