Agriculture contributes to country’s modernisation: PM

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc highlighted the importance of agriculture and rural development to the country’s modernisation cause during a meeting of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in Hanoi on January 4.

Assigning 2018 tasks to the sector, the PM requested stronger and more drastic transformation by developing large-scale farming, using modern technology to improve output and competitiveness, and stepping up new rural development.

agriculture contributes to country’s modernisation: pm hinh 0
He hailed the sector for surpassing 2017’s targets with a 2.94% growth, more than doubling that of 2016, contributing 0.44% to the country’s economic growth. The import of fruits, vegetables and wooden furniture reduced while hi-tech agriculture reaped initial successes. 

The leader said more and more firms get involved in farming and many of them have succeeded. 

He also asked for strong directions to deal with violations in agriculture, forestry and fisheries as well as deforestation, and pool resources for rural development, given that a number of fishermen and those living in remote and mountainous areas are facing difficulties in wake of the recent floods. 

In food hygiene and safety, farmers were urged to set examples to protect themselves and consumers. 

About targets for 2018, he said the agricultural sector should set to grow by 2.25% while forestry and fisheries will expand by 6.5% and 5%, respectively. The sector’s export earnings will near US$40 billion, and 52 districts and 37% of communes will become new-style rural areas. 

The ministry and localities must immediately follow the Party and National Assembly’s resolutions and the government’s Resolution No.1 under the motto of Discipline, Integrity, Action, Creativity, Effectiveness, he said. 

Statistics from the ministry showed that nearly 2,000 newly-established firms operated in agro-forestry-fisheries in 2017, up 3.8% annually, raising the total in the sector to 5,600. 

Also in 2017, the sector brought home US$36.37 billion from agro-forestry-fisheries export, US$4 billion higher than last year’s same period. Trade surplus hit US$8.55 billion, up US$1 billion year on year. 

Export of aquatic products hit an all-time high of US$8.4 billion while wood and forestry shipments hit US$8 billion. In particular, fruits and vegetables export surged 40.5% to US$3.45 billion, or US$2.6 billion higher than rice export value. 

As many as 2,884 communes were recognised as new-style rural areas, equivalent to 32.3%, higher than the target of 31%.