$2.3 billion credit package to change face of Vietnam agriculture
Here are six outstanding events of Vietnam’s agriculture in 2016.
1.Vietnam for the first time witnessed fruit export turnover exceeding crude oil export turnover, which has been the strategic export item for many years.
In the first nine months of 2016, Vietnam exported $1.81 billion worth of vegetables & fruits, an increase of 31.8 percent in value compared with the same period last year. Meanwhile, oil exports brought turnover of $1.7 billion, a decrease of 43 percent.
The vegetable & fruit exports have exceeded some other strategic items such as coal ($73 million), garment and footwear ($1.1 billion)
2. ‘Land accumulation’ was the term mentioned by many experts in 2016 when discussing solutions to develop agricultural production.
Small-scale agriculture based on household production is believed to be the reason behind the slow development of Vietnam’s agriculture.
Vietnam now has 4,000 agricultural enterprises, 12,000 cooperatives and 29,500 farms, which show that there are few major factors in organizing large-scale merchandise production.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has mentioned the expansion of agricultural land limits as an important factor to organize large-scale production and create high-quality farm produce at low production costs.
3.The government has committed to reserve VND50 trillion to the development of high-technology agriculture
Phuc emphasized that all localities and individuals/institutions wishing to carry out high-technology agriculture projects will receive preferential credit from the government.
4. 2016 was a tough year for Vietnam’s agriculture. The record cold spell in the first months of 2016 in the north, and drought and salinity intrusion in Mekong Delta caused severe damage to farmers' incomes and agricultural production.
A report showed that by the end of April 2016, the damages caused by the drought and salinity intrusion had reached VND9.02 trillion.
5. The campaign on banned substances in animal husbandry reached a peak in 2016.
MARD, which joined forces with the police, tested 89 meat samples within a short time and discovered that 23 samples tested positive to Salbutamol.
Breeders have been threatened they will be punished more heavily if they use banned substances in farming. They will be sentenced to up to 20 years imprisonment and forced to pay up to VND1 billion in fine.
To date, about 285,000 households have committed not to use banned substances.
6. Vietnam for the first time in the last 10 years saw minus growth (- 0.18 percent) in agriculture in the first half of 2016. This was blamed on unfavorable weather conditions.
The Ministry of Planning and Investment estimated that drought and salinity intrusion caused damages worth VND15 trillion to Vietnam’s economy. The hardest hit were Kien Giang, Ca Mau, Ben Tre and Bac Lieu provinces.
Mai Nam, VietNamNet Bridge