The first National Food Systems Summit Dialogue was held by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), in partnership with a number of ministries, the UN in Vietnam and international development partners in Hanoi on June 15 morning.
Themed “Vietnam Food Systems: Transparency, Responsibility, Sustainability,” the dialogue is the very first attempt in a series of events to prepare the nation for its attendance in the UN Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) in September 2021.
In his remarks, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Quoc Doanh said since the COVID-19 broke out globally, the world has been facing unpredictable challenges. Global supply chains are disrupted; food production is severely affected; and rural people, particularly the poor and vulnerable groups, are struggling to make ends meet, he said.
Agriculture resources are degrading under the increasingly adverse impact of climate change, posing major challenges to ensuring food and nutrition security all over the world, Doanh remarked.
The deputy minister went on to say that in Vietnam, agriculture plays a significant role in maintaining food security, social stability and livelihoods for more than 60 percent of rural population and contributes 14.85 percent to the country’s GDP.
As the Government of Vietnam is making every endeavour to realise the twin goals of combating COVID-19 and sustaining socio-economic growth, agriculture has become more important in the “new normal”, economically, socially and environmentally.
The food system framework offers Vietnam multi-sectoral, multi-tier approaches and stays in line with the country’s current policies reflected in the Agriculture Restructure Plan for 2021-2025, the National Target Programme on Sustainable Poverty Reduction and Social Security for the 2021 – 2025 period, the One Commune One Product (OCOP) programme, the National Action Plan on Zero Hunger by 2025 and the National Nutrition Strategy, among others, he continued.
Vietnam will better and more effectively implement action plans in poverty eradication, food security and nutrition in rural areas, especially where ethnic minorities groups and vulnerable people live, the official noted.
The dialogue focused discussions on two main issues, namely the current state and problems of Vietnam’s food systems; and opportunities, solutions and actions to transform the food systems towards transparency, responsibility and sustainability by 2030.
The UNFSS 2021 aims to define orientations for sustainable, inclusive and resilient food systems, creating multi-dimensional impacts to deliver progress on the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). The Summit focuses on five action tracks – ensuring access to safe and nutritious food for all; shifting to sustainable consumption pattern; boosting nature-positive production; promoting equitable livelihoods and value distribution; and building resilience to vulnerabilities, shocks and stresses.
In the run-up to the September summit, the MARD on behalf of the Government is organizing two national and three regional dialogues virtually from June 15 through July 15.