International partnership needed for Việt Nam to shift to greener agriculture: Minister

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Green dragon fruits are prepared for export in the southern province of Tiền Giang. — VNA/VNS Photo Minh Trí

HÀ NỘI — To transform into a green agriculture, Việt Nam’s agriculture sector cannot stand alone and make it by itself, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Lê Minh Hoan said on Thursday, emphasising the importance of companionship and supports from ministries, agencies, localities and especially international partners.

Co-chairing a plenary meeting of the International Support Group (ISG) themed “Green Partner for a New Agriculture” on Thursday, Hoan said during the COVID-19 pandemic, agriculture had proved to be a main pillar of Việt Nam’s economy.

However, the sector still faced major difficulties and challenges which required it to change growth models and transform into more sustainable agriculture, he said.

Hoan added that that with “innovative thinking” and “acting together”, Việt Nam’s agriculture sector would realise the aspiration of an ecological, advanced, integrated multi-valued agriculture, harmoniously combining indigenous resources, cultural identity, social trust with science and technology, innovation and digital transformation.

The sector was expected to become a tool to measure the country’s sustainable development, he said.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) held a plenary meeting on the International Support Group (ISG) themed “Green Partner for a New Agriculture.” on Thursday — VNS Photo Tố Như

The ISG Plenary Meeting is a high-level policy dialogue forum held annually for the agriculture ministry and its partners including international donors and businesses to exchange and share their opinions on policies and priorities in promoting international co-operation, strengthening co-ordination to boost Việt Nam’s agricultural development towards sustainability and integration of “multi-values”.

The ISG Conference 2021 is an important event for the ministry to widely consult international partners with the aim of completing its Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development in the 2021-2030 period, a vision to 2050 and National Action Plan for the Transformation into a Transparent, Responsible and Sustainable Food System in Việt Nam for the 2021-30 period.

The Strategy for Agricultural and Rural Development in the 2021-30 period, with a vision to 2050, is built based on three pillars of “Ecological agriculture “, “Modern countryside” and “Smart farmers.”

The National Action Plan for Transitioning to a Transparent, Responsible and Sustainable Food System in Việt Nam for the 2021-30 period is built on the basis of five action roadmaps that was introduced at the United Nations Food System Summit in September this year.

The roadmaps involve ensuring everyone has access safe and nutritious food; transition to sustainable consumption; promoting sustainable production; building competitive, inclusive and equitable value chains; and enhancing resilience to shocks and pressures.

Rémi Nono Womdim, Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) Vietnam Chief Representative, who co-chaired the meeting said that political commitments and strategic partnerships with stakeholders were key factors for Việt Nam to transform to green and low-carbon food systems.

For many years, FAO always accompanied and supported Việt Nam’s agriculture, he said, adding that FAO would continue to support the transformation of food systems towards more efficient, inclusive, adaptive and sustainable directions so that no one would be left behind.

Also at the ISG Plenary Meeting, Hoan and FAO Representative Rémi Nono Womdim signed the framework of the Việt Nam – FAO co-operation programme for the 2022-26 period.

The co-operation framework represents a high commitment for further co-operation to promote sustainable agriculture and rural development in Việt Nam.

Caitlin Wiesen, UNDP Resident Representative, Việt Nam said that she appreciated the draft strategy for Agricultural and Rural Development in the 2021-2030 period, with a vision to 2050 and action roadmaps.

She said that UNDP would particularly give priority to climate change resilience activities, closely co-operating with central government, localities and community to help improve their resilience capacity.

The UNDP effectively supported Việt Nam in building flood-resilient houses in coastal areas, growing and protecting mangrove forests, supporting people’s livelihood in seven coastal provinces as well as small-size farming households in the Central Highland region and south central region to better respond to droughts and natural disasters.

Applauding Việt Nam’s ambitious commitments at COP 26, Wiesen said that it paved the way to expand environment-friendly production, ensure food security and reduce greenhouse gases emissions. — VNS

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