Vietnam and Sri Lanka have agreed on a number of measures to strengthen bilateral cooperation, especially in agricultural development.

During talks between Vietnamese Minister of Agricultural and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat and Sri Lankan Minister of Agriculture Mahianda Yapa Abeywardana in Hanoi on July 13, the two sides reviewed the implementation of a memorandum of understanding on agricultural cooperation signed in November, 2006 and discussed future plans of action.

Vietnam and Sri Lanka agreed to boost cooperation in research and the exchange of experts in agricultural science and technology as well as boost agricultural product trading.

The two countries will cooperate in exchanging gene pools and scientific information on black peppercorn, coffee, rambutan, rice and mushroom.

They will jointly develop suitable food and agricultural product processing technologies for rural areas under Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) and Global Agricultural Practice (GAP) standards.

The two countries’ scientists will visit pest management and organic agricultural development models as well as study varieties of rice with high adaptability and tea processing techniques.

To further boost agricultural cooperation activities, the two sides agreed to set up a joint agricultural cooperation committee which will convene meetings every two years, to review the implementation of set programmes and put forward measures to boost cooperation and solve difficulties during the implementation.

On July 12, the Sri Lankan Agricultural Minister had a working session with the Quang Ninh provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

He said Sri Lanka wants to study agricultural and forestry promotion models in Vietnam , including in Quang Ninh province, postgraduate training for agricultural experts and the building of policies on the farm economy.

He expressed his hope that the two sides will expand cooperation in tea processing, as Sri Lanka was one of the world’s largest tea processors and exporters./.