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In the morning of March 5, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) in collaboration with the Ministry of Industry and Trade, International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Bank Group organized a Forum to promote production associated with the consumption of Vietnamese agricultural products in 2019.

Minister of MARD Nguyen Xuan Cuong chaired this important forum to discuss solutions to further promote agricultural trade activities, especially export of Vietnamese agricultural products in 2019.

At the conference, the Planning Department and the Agricultural Products Processing and Market Development Department (MARD) reported the achievements that the agricultural sector achieved in 2018 and also pointed out the challenges of the industry in 2019. In 2018, 63/63 provinces and cities under central authority developed a model of 1,096 chains (an increase of 350 models compared to 2017), 1,426 products and 3,174 market points controlled by agricultural product chain of food safety. In 2018, the number of newly established agro-forestry and fisheries enterprises is 2,200 enterprises (up 12.3% compared to 2017), bringing the total number of agricultural enterprises to 9,235 enterprises (the ratio of registered capital per 1 enterprise is VND 17.8 billion).

Currently, there are more than 7,000 industrial-scale agro-forestry and fisheries processing facilities in the country, of which there are about 830 establishments and plants in cultivation; The livestock sector has 910 centralized slaughter houses; The fisheries sector currently has 760 enterprises; The forestry sector has 4,500 wood processing enterprises. The number of households investing in large-scale production and joining in association is more than 25.5 thousand  which involved in  VietGAP certified production  and 619.3 thousand households joining in large field production .

Recognizing the challenges in 2019, according to Mr. Nguyen Quoc Toan, Acting Director of the Agricultural Products Processing and Market Development Department, in 2019, Vietnam's agricultural sector  still mainly exists in small and scattered scale, so it cannot meet requirements for large-scale commodity production and high standards of the international market. Meanwhile, challenges and risks from the impacts of climate change, environment, diseases on crops and farmed animals directly affect domestic production and supply and demand of agricultural products.

In the world market, the trade conflict between the United States and China, the uncertainties surrounding Brexit issue, geopolitical instability in the world also affect the export of agricultural products of Vietnam. As many countries around the world including such great countries as the United States, Japan, EU, China ...have recently focused on investment in agricultural development, Vietnam agricultural products must compete harshly in exports with the countries in the region and in the world as well.

In 2019, despite recognizing many challenges, the agricultural sector still set an export turnover target of 43 billion USD. In order to achieve the set objectives, Minister Nguyen Xuan Cuong concluded that Vietnam will continue to strongly restructure the agricultural sector; develop production structure in 3 main product pillars: national key product group, provincial key product group, local specialty product group under the model of “one  product for one  commune ”. Value chains are to set up for key products to open and develop markets accordingly, prioritizing good production of potential export commodities such as forest products, seafood, rice and fruits.

“We have to move from self-sufficient to market – oriented production. But it is difficult to supply the world with increasing population and higher income. Despite this, we can still do it. We need a synchronous engagement, fierce companionship on all three groups: government, business and people”, the Minister said.

The Government have perfected institutions, reformed administrative procedures, promptly removed difficulties for businesses and farmers. Millions of farmers  can connect with thousands of cooperatives and businesses. Thus, we have formed a close link between production and processing with consumption, Minister Nguyen Xuan Cuong pointed out.