12.05.2022, 12:12

Vietnam-US agricultural cooperation for the benefits of the people and global environment

Minister Le Minh Hoan and the delegation of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development worked with the US Department of Agriculture. Photo: Le Trung Quan.

During the discussion, MARD Minister Le Minh Hoan emphasized that Vietnam has long regarded the United States as its most crucial agricultural partner. Throughout 27 years of normalization, the two Ministries have carried out a variety of practical and effective cooperation initiatives. 

He said that the Vietnamese government has authorized and is actively implementing the Strategy for Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development, positioning Vietnam to become a nation responsible for global food security and environmental protection. 

To contribute to the realization of Vietnam's bold commitment at COP26, MARD is directing the execution of several activities, including The scheme of planting one billion trees; actively promoting payment based on the performance of forest carbon absorption services, and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions; and promoting the implementation of programs/projects to exchange carbon credits from forests... 

Vietnam's agricultural sector is transitioning toward sustainable agriculture. Vietnam has participated in numerous initiatives developed by the United States, other nations, and international organizations, including The Agriculture Innovation Mission for Climate (AIM for Climate / AIM4C), Action Alliance "Promoting sustainable productivity growth for food security and resource conservation" (SPG), "Center for Innovation in Food Technology," and The initiative "100 million farmers: transition to a zero-emissions and environmentally friendly food system." 

The mission of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development worked with the US Department of Agriculture. Video: Le Trung Quan.

The minister urged the U.S. to maintain its financial and technical assistance to Vietnam using concrete actions aimed at enhancing Vietnam's capability and enabling it to realize global initiatives, such as the transformation to green, environmentally-friendly, and low-carbon agriculture.  

He thanked the USDA for its work in mobilizing and assisting Vietnam in achieving major accomplishments in response to the anti-dumping investigation into Vietnamese honey on the US market. Concurrently, the two parties are vigorously executing the Agreement on control of illicit logging and trade to conclude the 301 inquiry into Vietnam's wood industry. 

In April of 2022, the inaugural meeting of the Working Group on Wood was convened in Washington to discuss tasks and the construction of new plans to ensure the rigorous management of legal wood sources for manufacturing. 

Minister Le Minh Hoan urged the United States to maintain its focus and introduce detailed technical support packages for Vietnam to better fulfill its commitments in mutual meetings, such as: enhancing the capacity for Vietnamese agencies on law enforcement in wood and timber products trade, forest resource survey; enhancing capacity in the management of payments for forest environmental services (PFES) to better fulfill commitments to sustainable forest development; and establishing liveable wage rates for forest workers. 

Minister Le Minh Hoan and leaders of the US Department of Agriculture presented souvenirs to each other. Photo: Le Trung Quan.

In terms of market access, the Minister noted that the United States is the largest exporter of poultry to Vietnam, the second-largest exporter of beef to Vietnam, and the sixth-largest exporter of pork to Vietnam. In addition, Vietnam has allowed the United States to export 171 varieties of plant seeds, 1 variety of fresh bulbs (potato), and 6 varieties of fresh fruits. 

Vietnam is now collaborating with the United States to expand its market to certain US fruits. To ensure the success of these initiatives, the Minister requested that the United States promptly allow Vietnamese pomelo to enter its market. 

Regarding scientific and technological cooperation, the Minister praised the United States for helping Vietnam in several technical assistance initiatives in the sectors of disease management, adaptation to climate change, and application of high technology during the past several years. 

The Minister suggested the US side continue to work closely with Vietnam to quickly create positive results in research, testing, and application of the African swine fever (ASF) vaccine.

On behalf of the USDA, Deputy Under Secretary Jason Hafemeiser thanked Minister Le Minh Hoan for presenting an overview of US-Vietnam collaboration in the agriculture sector and affirmed that the United States has always regarded Vietnam as one of its major agricultural partners. The agriculture of the two countries complements each other for mutual growth. 

Jason Hafemeiser, Deputy Undersecretary, noted that the market opening for Vietnamese pomelo is pushed. The United States has been soliciting public opinions since February 2022 and is now synthesizing them for immediate release. 

Vietnam-US agricultural cooperation for the benefits of the people and global environment

The Plant Protection Department (MARD) and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) have completed the draft "Export Plan on phytosanitary requirements for pomelo fruit exported from Vietnam to the United States".

Deputy Secretary Jason Hafemeiser underlined that strengthening capacity in the areas of sustainable development and climate change is now a major focus for the United States government. Simultaneously, the United States is creating a plan for COP27 to continue advocating the ongoing programs. 

To realize the aforementioned opportunities for cooperation, the two parties agreed to direct the specialized agencies of the two ministries to actively cooperate and engage in more in-depth discussions to arrive at the best solutions for promoting market opening, scientific and technological cooperation, promoting sustainable development, and responding to climate change. 

After the discussion, the Minister extended an invitation to the Deputy Undersecretary to visit Vietnam at an opportune moment to gain a realistic perspective on Vietnam's agricultural growth, with the hope that the people of both nations will reap the rewards. Agriculture stands to gain the most from the reliable, mutually beneficial collaboration between Vietnam and the United States.

Authors: Thanh Huyen - Le Trung Quan

Translated by Linh Linh