Ministry sets up 5 zones for agriculture, forestry, fisheries

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The exclusive rice growing zone established is expected to help exporters take full advantage of tax benefits under trade agreements. VNA/VNS Photo

HCM CITY — HCM City is joining hands with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to establish five areas exclusively for agriculture, forestry or fisheries in 13 provinces at a cost of VNĐ2.46 trillion (US$107 million) by 2025.

The country’s agricultural sector has yet to realise its full potential, experts said, pointing out that production and consumption still rely heavily on a few markets, climatic conditions and other factors that limit capacity.

The dependence on the climate and prevalence of diseases pose a threat.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on agricultural production and supply chains.

Agriculture has not developed sustainably or taken advantage of technology and digital transformation.

The export market is not diversified and relies heavily on a few markets.

Thus, earmarking areas for farming raw material is considered the ideal solution to improve the value of products and ensure adequate supply for domestic consumption and export.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Trần Thanh Nam said agriculture is inefficient because of small holdings and the impact of climate change.

It leads to low quality and competitiveness and high post-harvest losses, and thus low incomes for farmers.

The ministry has co-ordinated with the 13 provinces to establish the five areas on a total area of 166,800 ha.

They will include areas for growing passion fruit, pineapple and mango in Hòa Bình and Sơn La provinces, timber in Quảng Trị and Thừa Thiên-Huế, coffee in Gia Lai, Đắk Lắk, Đắk Nông, and Kon Tum, rice in Kiên Giang and An Giang, and mango, jackfruit and durian in Đồng Tháp, Tiền Giang and Long An.

Their targets include reducing input costs by 5-10 per cent, post-harvest losses by 5-10 per cent and increasing product value by 10-20 per cent, thus increasing incomes by 5-10 per cent for 186,280 co-operative members and other farmers participating in the project.

Phạm Thái Bình, general director of Trung An Hi-tech Agriculture Joint Stock Company, said he expected these raw material areas to help businesses improve their supply of farm produce materials and link more closely with farmers.

He pointed out that last year Vietnamese enterprises only exported 60,000 tonnes of rice out of the EU’s tax-free quota of 80,000 tonnes due to insufficient supply. — VNS

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