The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) has announced a list of 13 key agricultural products of Vietnam. The list includes rice, coffee, rubber, cashew nuts, pepper, tea, vegetables and fruit, cassava and cassava products, pork, meat and eggs, tra fish, shrimp, wood and wood products.
MARD said that many countries had identified their key agricultural products in order to encourage their development, but so far there hadn’t been a unified set of indicators to identify key agricultural products among countries.
Each country will select their key agricultural products based on their own natural and socio-economic conditions as well as their political and social security objectives.
According to MARD, there are four main groups of criteria that most countries use to identify their key agricultural products, including economic criteria, social criteria, environmental criteria, and the criteria of products prioritised for development.
The ministry said the promulgation of the list aimed to encourage investment into agriculture to improve product quality and competitiveness.
Earlier, the ministry drafted a decree proposing 15 key agricultural products including the 13 mentioned above, as well as beef and ginseng.
Vietnam now ranks second in Southeast Asia in exporting agricultural products.
Last year, the country’s export revenues of agricultural products hit a record high of 40.02 billion USD – the highest growth rate over the past seven years.
Specifically, the gross domestic product (GDP) of agriculture, forestry and fishery expanded by 3.76 percent while the production value increased by 3.86 percent. Of which, the export value of the key agricultural products had been on the rise, contributing to the high growth rate.
The 10 commodity groups with export turnover of over 1 billion USD continued to be maintained, of which five items posted a revenue of more than 3 billion USD, including wood and wood products (8.86 billion USD), shrimp (3.59 billion USD), fruit and vegetable (3.81 billion USD), coffee (3.46 billion USD) and cashew nuts (3.43 billion USD).
The sector’s trade surplus increased from 7 billion USD in 2015 to 8.5 billion USD in 2017 and 8.72 billion USD in 2018, contributing sharply to balancing the country’s foreign currency reserves.
The global agricultural market in 2018 recorded a sharp decline in prices of industrial crops in the context of fierce competition among exporting countries, causing a rapid increase in supply while world demand decreased or increased slowly. Specifically, commodities seeing declines included coffee, rubber, pepper and cashew nuts. However, Vietnam still maintained a high export value thank to increasing export volume despite falling prices.
The export value of key agricultural products had been increased including rice, vegetables, tra fish, wood and forest products.
According to minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong, the achievements were partly due to restructuring the sector, organising production by chain and bringing high technologies into production, especially key agricultural products. The whole sector would strive to achieve a GDP growth rate of over 3 percent, an increase of over 3.11 percent in the production value and an export turnover of about 42-43 billion USD, he said.
To reach the targets, the ministry would continue to restructure the sector and boost production and processing, develop the consumption market for farm produce, and promote sustainable growth. It would also develop the consumption market in the country as well as the export markets, actively implement trade promotion and effectively tap into the opportunities of free trade agreements (FTAs).
Source: Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP)
Illustration Photo: Cassava starch factory in Dong Nai province, Vietnam (credits: Georgina Smith / CIAT / Flickr Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0))