14.02.2023, 08:00

Agriculture remains backbone of Vietnamese economy

Agriculture has asserted its position as the backbone of the economy. How was agricultural production in January?

The long Lunar New Year has caused a standstill in production and export activities for many days. However, agricultural production is still taking place, meeting the needs of consumers. As a result, inflation was effectively controlled, with the January consumer price index (CPI) increasing by 0.52 per cent on-month in January and 4.89 per cent on-year.

In particular, the export of agricultural products maintained its growth. Last month, the value of agricultural exports reached $1.9 billion, accounting for 7.6 per cent of total export turnover, and seafood exports were estimated at $0.6 billion, accounting for 2.4 per cent of the total export turnover. Because this lunar year is a leap year, allowing for 13 lunar months instead of 12, the growing season has just begun in the Red River Delta. The planting conditions are favourable in several localities, so the agricultural sector is expected to continue its growth momentum from last year.

What do you think about the decline in agriculture's contribution to national GDP?

As Vietnam promotes the development of the industry sector, a decrease in the contribution to GDP from the agricultural sector is understandable. But agriculture will never lose its central role in the overall economy as a "steel shield" to protect food security for 100 million Vietnamese people.

The recent report from the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations shows that, in Vietnam, self-reliance on agricultural production helps ensure food security, sustainable development of the country, and contributes significantly to joint efforts to address global supply chain concerns.

How have external factors affected agricultural production in Vietnam?

Last year, there were many supply chain disruptions relating to the price of fertilisers, animal feed, petrol, and raw materials, caused by lingering aspects of the pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine conflict, yet agricultural production still grew by more than 3 per cent. Vietnam remains one of the world's leading exporters of agricultural products.

Specifically, the agricultural export turnover reached a record of about $53.22 billion, up 9.3 per cent compared to 2021, and the import of materials for agricultural production was only $8.08 billion, leading to a trade surplus of $45.14 billion.

A large part of the agricultural sector's results are thanks to the contribution of the Mekong Delta. What do you think about the contribution of the Red River Delta?

The Red River Delta, where production focuses more in favour of value and quality, not just quantity, also contributes significantly and is increasingly asserting its role in the development of the nation's agriculture,

The agriculture sector in general is steering towards effective, sustainable, ecological development in the direction of high-tech, organic, and circular agriculture. Along with that, farming in the Red River Delta is focusing on developing large-scale, high-quality specialised production areas for rice, vegetables, flowers, and specifically fruit, along with strongly developing high-tech industrial animal husbandry and the promotion of aquaculture.