Thứ Tư, 15 tháng 3, 2017

Agri-food sector needs less direct state oversight: World Bank

 Agriculture and the country’s overall food system are at a turning point, said Ousmane Dione, World Bank Country Director for Vietnam, at a recent forum in Hanoi discussing post-2016 development goals and targets.

agri-food sector needs less direct state oversight: world bank hinh 0

While having a strong track record and ample opportunities for future growth- both at home and abroad—the sector faces major demographic, economic, and environmental challenges.
The Vietnam Development Report 2016, ‘Transforming Vietnamese Agriculture: Gaining More from Less, which the World Bank released last September, details the challenges and opportunities facing the sector, Dione noted.
To remain competitive in the international market, the report said the country needs to restructure the sector to improve supply, quality, food safety and, most importantly, start producing products with higher added value.
This stands in stark contrast to its history of mass producing commodities with low added values, the report declared.
It outlines an agenda for strengthening short- and longer-term public and market institutions that would be needed to achieve the ambitious goals it has set out for the sector.
The country’s agricultural output is exacting too high a price on the environment, said Ousmane Dione. Business as usual is no longer an option for the sector. Growth has slowed, it is vulnerable to climate hazards, and it is having a disastrous environmental impact.
Change would help overcome these challenges, Dionne asserted, and help ensure the future of agricultural growth would better meet the expectations and aspirations of the people of the country.
The report highlighted the fact that agriculture in the country has made enormous progress. The country has emerged as one of the leading exporters of agri-food commodities and is among the top five for farm raised fish and seafood, rice, coffee, tea, cashews, black pepper, rubber, and cassava.
However, agriculture has experienced low quality growth, as evidenced by meagre profits for smallholder farmers, considerable under-employment among workers and unreliable product quality and food safety.
It also suffers from limited technological or institutional innovation, the report concluded. The growth that has been achieved has principally been the result of increased cropping areas and more intensive use of chemicals and fertilizers.
The report offers a variety of policy recommendations to address the challenges.
The government, it said, could deploy an effective combination of improved regulations, better incentives and streamlined services to stimulate and monitor a more effective food safety and consumer protection system.
In addition, it could help with policy instruments to better manage agriculture related risks, as well as create and maintain a favourable enabling environment for agribusiness.
In conclusion, however, in a more flexible, market-driven, and knowledge-based agriculture system, reducing the amount of direct governmental involvement would make the transition to a more modern agri-food system sector in Vietnam smoother.

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