|A processing line of carrot at Tan Huong Agricultural Product and Food Processing Joint Stock Company in Hai Duong province
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong said the COVID-19 pandemic has affected exports of local fresh vegetables and fruits, especially to China, one of the key export markets for those products.
However, Vietnam has gained strong growth in processed farming products as the situation has forced local enterprises to change export markets and also promoted processing of farm products.
Local businesses have affirmed that investment in processing technology has helped the agricultural industry restore after the pandemic and also reach the goal of becoming one of the top 10 countries in processing agricultural products in the world, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).
The Government should have policies to encourage enterprises to invest in processing technology, the ministry said.
Many businesses said in the developing processing stage for the agriculture sector, they have not had difficulties in capital and investment in technology but struggled for material area to supply input products for processing factories.
The raw material area is a key factor in all processing sectors. Therefore, enterprises in the processing sectors need to promote co-operation with farmers and co-operatives to ensure input material, according to the ministry.
This has also required each locality to identify key products to develop material areas, the ministry said. Farmers need to strengthen links with businesses to sell their farm products.
Minister Cuong said there are many processing plants of the agricultural sector set to come into operation, especially processing plants for fruits and vegetables. In the future, Vietnam needs policies encouraging investment to the processing industry and to adjust locations of processing facilities to match the development of material regions.
Localities should develop clusters of production, processing and consumption of agricultural products.
Nguyen Quoc Toan, director of MARD’s Agro-product Processing and Market Development Department, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said in recent years, the agricultural sector has restructured.
The ministry plans to restructure 13 products to develop key products together with development of the processing industry.
Recently, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc issued a directive to set tasks and solutions to develop the processing industry of agro-forestry-fishery products and mechanisation of agricultural production.
According to the directive, Vietnam will strive to be among the world’s top 15 most developed countries in agriculture by 2030 with agricultural processing to rank in the world’s top 10.
The PM has directed that Vietnam must rank in the world’s top five countries producing fruit and vegetables, seafood and wood products. Those are key farming products with many advantages in development of production and export.
Vietnam records about US$4 billion from fruit and vegetables exports annually, about US$11 billion from exports of wood products, and US$9 billion from seafood products.