An orchid garden in Vinh Long province. The province has set a target this year to earn 22,42 trillion VND (987,29 million USD) from agricultural production. (Source: VNA)

Vinh Long (VNA) - The Mekong Delta province of Vinh Long has set a target this year to earn 22.42 trillion VND (987.29 million USD) from agricultural production by restructuring the sector with a focus on product quality.

The vice chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, Nguyen Van Liem, asked the sector to increase the added value of products and reduce production costs.

He said the province should adjust production structures, crops and the scope of jobs in areas affected by salt intrusion and climate change.

“It’s important for the province to change its thinking in shifting from agricultural production to an agricultural economy, giving priority to quality production according to clear planning,” he said. The province needs to apply advanced technology and promote mechanisation in agricultural production and aquaculture, he added.

The province should also improve the quality and competitiveness of rice, sweet potato and citrus fruit (Nam Roi pomelo, Da Xanh pomelo, king orange), as well as pigs, cows and pangasius fish, among others.

Also needed are promotion of trade and investment in new plant varieties and application of hi-tech in pre-processing products in compliance with VietGAP and GlobalGAP standards.

The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development said it would restructure crops by reducing the production area and increasing the area for farm produce and fruit trees.

In particular, it plans to reduce the area for rice from nearly 170,000 hectares to 159,000 hectares, and increase the area for crops and fruit trees from 54,000 to 55,000 hectares.

It will support the development of key fruit trees, and improve production linkages and traceability of products.

The province also plans to develop cattle and poultry breeding in the direction of biosafety by using advanced technology to improve product quality and productivity. The development of pangasius fish farming will also be a priority.

In 2017, the province recorded over 22.1 trillion VND of agricultural, forestry and fishery production value, an increase of 2.14 percent over 2016.

The cultivation reached a growth rate of more than 5 percent compared to 2016.

The aquaculture sector recorded positive signs, with production areas and purchase prices increasing.
Last year, the production value of aquaculture was 1.38 percent higher than the previous year.

Tran Hoang Tuu, vice chairman of the provincial People’s Committee, said in 2017, the province’s agricultural sector faced many challenges.

The prices of agricultural products were unpredictable, causing difficulties for producers as well as agencies in planning agricultural production.

The province failed to attract enough enterprises to invest in agriculture and rural areas.

He said it was important to call for investment in preliminary processing and brand building to create added value for agricultural products. -VNA