Vietnam’s agricultural achievements are significant: FAO representative

The achievements that Vietnam has gained in agriculture is significantly ensuring food security and implementing the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals, heard an event to mark the 35th World Food Day in northern Lao Cai province on October 15.

The outcomes were attributable to the farmers’ engagement in cultivating activities and application of new technologies to cope with climate change, said Jong-Ha Bae, a representative from the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). 

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Quoc Doanh thanked the international communities, including the FAO, for their technical assistance in agriculture for Vietnam. 

The theme of the 2015 World Food Day, which is “Social Protection and Agriculture: Breaking the Cycle of Rural Poverty”, holds significance to Vietnam, especially when the country is striving to build hi-tech agriculture to ensure sustainable food security, rural modernisation, and poverty reduction, he said. 

He noted that Vietnam has around 10 million farm households with over 30 million rural workers, accounting for some 70% of the country’s labour force and contributing 20% to the national gross domestic product (GDP). 

Vietnam is among the global leading exporters of farm produce such as rice, pepper, cashew nut, cassava, tea, rubber and seafood. 

The proportion of hunger slid to 6% in the previous year from 58% in 1993, while the ratio of malnourished people dropped to 11% in 2014-2016 from 45.6% in 1990-1992. 

However, the rate of poverty in Vietnam remains high, especially in rural, remote, and ethnic minority areas, Doanh noted. 

To help farmers increase their income from agriculture, the Vietnamese Government has been carrying out a restructuring programme in the field with special focus on promoting science-technology application and increasing production value chain connection, he said. 

Vietnam is sparing no effort to establish a social welfare network to enable people from disadvantaged backgrounds to afford social insurance cards and access to social services by 2020, he added.