The discussions largely focused on providing assessments and devising solutions to deal with the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has been negatively affecting agricultural growth, while the conference acknowledge that it is difficult to forecast the end of the pandemic.
Many countries have suffered as a result of the global supply chain being interrupted, largely due to China being such an important supplier of input goods for many nations and multinational firms. Amid these growing trade tensions and increasingly challenging business climate, the global economy is facing a downturn on a large scale which is serving to greatly impact on global trade activities in general, with agricultural trade being particularly affected.
In addition to these issues caused by macroeconomics, the domestic agriculture sector is also facing a range of difficulties such as the negative impact of climate change from the beginning of the year causing droughts, whilst saline intrusion in the Mekong Delta is having a tremendous impact on cultivation and aquaculture.
Despite the African swine cholera epidemic being under control, it still has the potential to causes problems during re-herding operations. Furthermore, there remains a risk of an outbreak of the avian influenza epidemic due to the large poultry population.
Meanwhile, the market for many agricultural products is experiencing a downtrend and has been greatly affected by various trade wars between major countries. Other challenges involve the “yellow card” warning issued for illegal seafood exploitation by the European Commission which has yet to be removed, whilst the complex nature of developments relating to the COVID-19 pandemic have had a direct impact on production, import-export activities, and the nation’s consumption of farm produce.