Vietnam aims to become a transparent, responsible, and sustainable food supplier

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Minh Hoan affirmed that in 2023, despite the continuous increase in rice prices, Vietnam will still maintain exports of over 8 million tons of rice. With a new strategy, Vietnam aims to become a transparent, responsible, and sustainable food supplier.

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As part of the high-level visit of the Philippine Presidential Delegation to Vietnam on January 29, 2024, in Hanoi, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Minh Hoan held talks with Philippine Minister of Agriculture Francisco Tiu Laurel.

During the talks, the agricultural ministries of both countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding, emphasizing their commitment to strengthening scientific and technical cooperation in the field of agriculture, and contributing to the enhancement of bilateral relations.

VIETNAM AS A KEY PARTNER FOR ENSURING FOOD SECURITY IN THE PHILIPPINES

Sharing with the Philippine delegation, Minister Le Minh Hoan informed that despite the continuous increase in rice prices in recent times, Vietnam has continued to maintain rice exports as in previous years. The rice output reached 43.5 million tons, an increase of 1.9%, and the productivity reached 6.1 tons/ha. Vietnam exported over 8 million tons of rice, with a value of USD 4.8 billion in 2023.

Minister Le Minh Hoan stated that in the Strategy for Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development by 2030 and towards 2045, Vietnam has clearly defined three pillars: Ecological agriculture, modern rural areas, and civilized farmers. Vietnam aims to integrate multiple values into agricultural products; apply a more from less approach; strengthen value chain linkages between businesses and farmer organizations; along with the development of rural economy and rural communities, creating new employment and livelihoods for rural residents, and developing a livable environment for rural residents.

“With the new strategy, Vietnam aims to become a transparent, responsible, and sustainable food supplier. In recent government directives, Vietnam also emphasizes the increase in rice production, ensuring national food security, enhancing high-quality exports, and building reputation and brand for the national rice industry.”

Mr. Le Minh Hoan, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development

Minister Le Minh Hoan expressed his desire for the specialized agencies of the two ministries to actively exchange information and cooperate in sharing advanced scientific and technological applications, creating favorable conditions for the trade of agricultural products between the two countries; sharing market information, scientific and technical advances, and promoting stable long-term rice trade mechanisms. To connect closely the needs of consumers and Philippine rice importers with Vietnamese rice growers, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Vietnam will prepare raw material areas and introduce businesses that meet the requirements of the Philippines.

Appreciating the achievements of Vietnam’s agricultural sector, Minister Francisco Tiu Laurel emphasized, “The Philippines considers Vietnam a key partner to ensure food security, with up to 80% of our rice imports coming from Vietnam.”

“We want to learn more about how your country develops high-quality rice varieties that can adapt and withstand unfavorable weather conditions such as drought, saline intrusion, floods, pests, and diseases. The initiative “1 million hectares of high-quality rice and low emissions for green growth in the Mekong Delta by 2030″ of Vietnam is a continuation of the success of the rice industry over the years. The approval and wide dissemination of the project at COP 28 have affirmed the sustainable brand of Vietnamese rice, attracting the attention of many countries,” said Mr. Laurel.

Minister Francisco Tiu Laurel stated that the Philippines wants to promote mechanization and modernization in production, post-harvest operations, and digitization in the agricultural sector. Therefore, the Philippines hopes to receive support from Vietnam to improve the organization of rice production and post-harvest processes. The Philippines also wants to work with Vietnam to establish a Rice Industry Investment Partner,” said Mr. Laurel.

Mr. Cao Duc Phat, former Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chairman of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) said that Vietnam and the Philippines’ agriculture sector do not compete but complement each other. Therefore, he suggested that the ministers instruct the relevant agencies to cooperate with the most sincere, open, and close spirit, aiming for shared prosperity.

COOPERATION IN VETERINARY AND FISHERY

During the talks, Minister Francisco Tiu Laurel proposed that the two sides can cooperate in many fields such as fisheries, livestock, and rice production. Regarding veterinary work, the Philippines wants to learn from Vietnam’s experiences in dealing with African swine fever and highly appreciates Vietnam’s production of African swine fever vaccines.

For cooperation in the livestock sector, Minister Le Minh Hoan proposed that the two sides cooperate in livestock and poultry meat production and processing, mutual recognition in the analysis and testing activities when conducting the import-export of livestock products.

In addition, the two sides will actively cooperate in training and capacity building for research and management officials in the agriculture and rural development sector related to climate change adaptation and smart agriculture development. The two sides will send experts to participate in joint research programs.

Minister Le Minh Hoan also expressed his desire for the Philippines to closely cooperate with Vietnam in combating illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing. Based on the Memorandum of Understanding between the two Governments on fisheries cooperation, Minister Le Minh Hoan proposed that the Philippine Department of Agriculture promptly instruct the competent agency to provide feedback on the signing of an agreement to establish a hotline and enhance IUU management.

As a country that has been able to remove the “yellow card” of IUU in less than a year, Minister Francisco Tiu Laurel agrees to share experiences with Vietnam, while emphasizing that removing the IUU “yellow card” is a shared responsibility to build a sustainable ASEAN fisheries image.

In order to promote agricultural, forestry, and fishery cooperation commensurate with the potential of the two countries, the two ministers signed a memorandum of understanding between Vietnam – Philippines. The memorandum emphasizes the determination to strengthen scientific and technical cooperation in the field of agriculture.

Accordingly, units under the agricultural ministries of the two countries will encourage, facilitate, and promote agricultural cooperation in crop production, livestock (including dairy), and high-value aquaculture; post-harvest and food processing facilities; grain quality control; farm and sustainability management; animal health and nutrition; geographic labeling; and promote agricultural investment and trade between the two countries, among others.

SOURCEvneconomy
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