A conference was held in Can Tho city on August 5 to seek measures to boost farm produce production and consumption in the Mekong Delta.

Addressing the event, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat said as the Mekong Delta region plays the central role in the national agricultural sector, the region has a heavy task in helping the sector fulfil the yearly growth target.

He noted that with a 2.96 percent growth in the first half of this year, the agricultural sector should strive for a 3.65 percent increase in the second half in order to meet the yearly target of 3.29 percent.

The export of rice and tra fish was high on the agenda of the conference, as local prices of these two products are rising. Participants focused on the difficulties arising in both export and domestic consumption of farm and aquatic products and ways to remove these problems.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the region’s total rice area in 2014 is estimated at over 4.2 million ha with an estimated output of 25 million tonnes, up 510,000 tonnes against last year. The volume of husked rice for export is forecast to reach 8 million tonnes this year.

By July 31, exporters had signed contracts to ship 5.72 million tonnes of husked rice, up 10.3 percent year-on-year. However, they are facing difficulties in purchasing rice, pushing local prices up.

Meanwhile, the region’s six-month aquatic export turnover hit 3.61 billion USD, a rise of 24.7 percent compared to the same period last year. The production of tra fish is expected to resume growing thanks to the Government’s Decree 36 on the farming, processing and export of the fish, one of the key aquatic products for export.-VNA