Authorities of the Central Highlands Province of Lam Dong inspect the quality of potatoes in the Da Lat agriculture market. The country has recently called for tightened management on the imported agricultural products, and a review of the products Viet Nam can produce. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyen Dung
A report from the Ministry of Planning and Investment showed that in the first six months of the year, total production of the agriculture, forestry and fishery sectors witnessed an estimated growth of only 2.4 per cent, the lowest rise in the 10 years.
Deputy PM Nguyen Thien Nhan said it was time for the sector to improve the quality of products by following market demand while applying science and technology, marketing, and trademark building to boost efficiency.
Nhan urged the struggling sectors to shift to the proposed growth model instead of simply improving productivity and capital flows as before.
"The growth in production value of the agriculture, forestry and fishery sector (in recent months) has been slowed down due to various reasons, including decreased purchasing power caused by economic difficulties," he said.
Explaining the reasons for their difficulties, local representatives blamed price fluctuations and low quality agricultural products being illegally smuggled into the country that were causing negative effects on agricultural production.
They called for tightened management on the imported agricultural products and a review of the products Viet Nam can produce. They suggested that products, especially those from husbandry, needed to be limited due to technical barriers.
"It's necessary to halt products with unknown origins and imported agricultural products that can also be produced domestically," said Secretary of the Party Committee of central Thanh Hoa Province Mai Van Ninh.
Discussing why output of Viet Nam's agricultural products such as rice did not increase, slowing the sector's growth rate, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat said the sector should pay more attention to the market, especially for exports.
"Most of the products can only maintain their prices or gain high growth rates through exports," he said, adding that temporary storage of rice was just a provisional solution.
The sector head said the Government had urged ministries and sectors to support enterprises in solving barriers to export markets, also to co-ordinate with localities in controlling imports and fighting smuggling.
Sharing his opinion on issues facing the agriculture sector, Deputy PM Vu Van Ninh asked for re-structuring, research on demand and supply, as well as the building of inter-regional co-operation for development.
"Rice producers must aim to ensure national food security first," he said. "If it is productive then we can export, but if it is not, we need to quickly shift to other plants and animals," he stressed