Vietnam earned an export turnover of US$8.6 billion from agricultural, forestry and fisheries products in the first six months, an increase of 13.1 per cent over same period last year. Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) Diep Kinh Tan said agricultural products were selling well thanks to the recovery of the export market and support from Government policies.
For example, the Government bought and stockpiled 200,000 tonnes of coffee when prices were down on the world market, said Nguyen Tri Ngoc, director of the Cultivation Department.
The action enabled farmers and enterprises to get a much better deal.
Ngoc added though the country had suffered from fierce heat and pests, agricultural productivity kept rising.
He said most increases were contributed by southern areas with 12.4 million tonnes of rice for the winter-spring season out of a total of 19.2 million tonnes.
However, Ngoc also said that pests had destroyed about 33,000 tonnes of rice in the winter-spring season in the North.
And the drought and heat, the severest in the last 50 years, was threatening 100,000ha of rice in central Viet Nam – and preventing another 100,000ha from being cultivated.
MARD estimates that central Viet Nam could lose VND5 to 6 trillion ($260-315 million) from the drought.
Minister Cao Duc Phat has urged localities to grow crops that better suited the hot weather.
Meanwhile, the continued spread of blue-ear disease among pigs was also up for review at MARD's six monthly review meeting.
Deputy director of the Husbandry Department Nguyen Thanh Son said blue-ear disease had killed about 100,000 pigs. Hundreds of thousands of tonnes of pork were left unsold in the market.
He said Viet Nam had to import 60,000 tonnes of pork from Taiwan and China to meet demand for clean meat.
Son said pig raising was a traditional and important activity for Vietnamese farmers, who raised 75 to 81 per cent of pork used domestically.
He suggested the State give vaccine to pig farmers in outbreak areas - and support breeding so disease-free herds could be developed.
Deputy minister Tan said that as Viet Nam had a $16-16.5 billion agricultural target for this year, $1 billion more than last year, the farm industry should also seek more markets.
The industry should also build up distribution networks for fisheries products in foreign markets and actively get involved in trading.
Source: VietNamNet/Viet Nam News
According to the Center of Informatics and Statistics (The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development), the value of forestry, agriculture and seafood products in the first 3 months ...View more...