Making news

Agriculture contributes to country’s modernisation: PM

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc highlighted the importance of agriculture and rural development to the country’s modernisation cause during a meeting of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in Hanoi on January 4.

Assigning 2018 tasks to the sector, the PM requested stronger and more drastic transformation by developing large-scale farming, using modern technology to improve output and competitiveness, and stepping up new rural development.

He hailed the sector for surpassing 2017’s targets with a 2.94 percent growth, more than doubling that of 2016, contributing 0.44 percent to the country’s economic growth. The import of fruits, vegetables and wooden furniture reduced while hi-tech agriculture reaped initial successes.

The leader said more and more firms get involved in farming and many of them have succeeded.

He also asked for strong directions to deal with violations in agriculture, forestry and fisheries as well as deforestation, and pool resources for rural development, given that a number of fishermen and those living in remote and mountainous areas are facing difficulties in wake of the recent floods.

In food hygiene and safety, farmers were urged to set examples to protect themselves and consumers.

About targets for 2018, he said the agricultural sector should set to grow by 2.25 percent while forestry and fisheries will expand by 6.5 percent and 5 percent, respectively. The sector’s export earnings will near 40 billion USD, and 52 districts and 37 percent of communes will become new-style rural areas.

The ministry and localities must immediately follow the Party and National Assembly’s resolutions and the government’s Resolution No.1 under the motto of Discipline, Integrity, Action, Creativity, Effectiveness, he said.

Statistics from the ministry showed that nearly 2,000 newly-established firms operated in agro-forestry-fisheries in 2017, up 3.8 percent annually, raising the total in the sector to 5,600.

Also in 2017, the sector brought home 36.37 billion USD from agro-forestry-fisheries export, 4 billion USD higher than last year’s same period. Trade surplus hit 8.55 billion USD, up 1 billion USD year on year.

Export of aquatic products hit an all-time high of 8.4 billion USD while wood and forestry shipments hit 8 billion USD. In particular, fruits and vegetables export surged 40.5 percent to 3.45 billion USD, or 2.6 billion USD higher than rice export value.

As many as 2,884 communes were recognised as new-style rural areas, equivalent to 32.3 percent, higher than the target of 31 percent.