Agricultural exports face a series of challenges

Extensive international economic integration opens up many opportunities but also poses many challenges for agricultural exports, especially when the small scale and dispersed characteristics of Vietnamese agriculture cannot change in "a day or day two".

agricultural exports face with a series of challenges
Facing many difficulties, the export target of USD 43 billion is not simple in 2019. Photo: Nguyen Thanh

Immense difficulties

At the Forum, "Promoting production associated with the consumption of Vietnamese agricultural products in 2019", by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, in collaboration with the Ministry of Industry and Trade, held in the morning of March 5 in Hanoi, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong assessed: In the whole of 2019, the agricultural sector will face some difficulties and challenges in producing and consuming agricultural products.

Specifically, Vietnam's agriculture production is mainly small and scattered, so it does not meet the requirements of large-scale commodity production and high standards from international markets. In addition, challenges and risks also come from the impacts of climate change, environment, plant and animal epidemics that directly affect domestic production and supply and demand of agricultural products.

"Vietnam is one of the countries that suffers great damage from climate change. In the period 2015-2018, Vietnam annually lost from 1-2 billion USD from natural disasters," said Minister Nguyen Xuan Cuong.

The report from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development also pointed out: The output market for agricultural products faces many difficulties due to the impact of the expected world economic growth in 2019, and countries in the world all returned to focus on investment for agriculture development. Vietnam agricultural products will face stiff export competition.

Meanwhile, large importers of Vietnam's agricultural products such as the US, EU, China, Japan, Korea, China ... have all increased protection of agricultural products through the standards of quality management, food safety and hygiene, requiring online and documented traceability. Along with the trade conflict between the United States and China, the uncertainties surrounding the Brexit issue, the geopolitical instability in the world also affects the export of Vietnam’s agricultural products.

Regarding this issue, Mr. To Ngoc Son - Deputy Director of the Asia-Africa Market Department (Ministry of Industry and Trade) evaluated: In the last 5 years, export turnover of agricultural, forestry and fishery products continued with positive growth. Many key markets such as China, EU, Japan and South Korea continue to be expanded. "However, at present, the import markets have tightened their requirements for quality and quarantine of plants, and this in turn requires the agricultural sector to change from production methods, trading habits to market access," Mr. Son said.

Clearly identify goods and priority markets

According to Mr. Son, who wants to export agricultural and aquatic products sustainably, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, local authorities and businesses need to reorganize the production of agricultural and aquatic products with a focus towards improving quality; At the same time, also focusing on accelerating market openings for commodities with export potential in the direction of clearly identifying priority goods and priority markets.

Mr. Son also said that, from an enterprise perspective, export enterprises also need to actively research the market, change their market access thinking, and change trading method from small to regular trade, especially for the Chinese market.

Around the export story of agricultural products, typically for passion fruit, Mr. Nguyen Manh Hung - Chairman of Joint Stock Company Nafoods Group points out: Trade promotion to open markets needs to be stronger, especially for key market like China. “Currently, enterprises have not yet exported to the Chinese market by way of a quota, but still have to export through quota and export through Thai partners. I propose there must be solutions, procedures for lemons in particular and for many other fruits, that can facilitate quick exports to the Chinese market,” Mr. Hung emphasized.

agricultural exports face with a series of challenges

Experts urge expanded cultivation of fruits for export

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From a local perspective, Mr. Nguyen Van Quang, Chairman of Vinh Long Provincial People's Committee, proposed that in the coming time, there should be a policy to stabilize agricultural product prices, especially rice. In addition, the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development should promote, support and seek the signing of state-level centralized export contracts to facilitate businesses; provide more information, market demand, increase trade promotion, strengthen traditional markets and open new markets. "Particularly for the Chinese market, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development needs to create conditions for official export enterprises, with specific instructions on conditions and regulations ... for this market," Quang said.

In 2019, the Government assigned agricultural development targets with GDP growth rate of over 3%, production value of over 3.11%; export turnover is to reach 43 billion USD. To achieve the target, MARD will continue to strongly implement restructuring agriculture; development of production structure in 3 main product lines: National flagship products, provincial key products, and products of local specialties associated with geographical importance. In addition, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development will also continue to innovate and develop forms of production organization, build concentrated material production areas, promote cooperation; attracting private enterprise investment, building models in chains, encouraging enterprises to invest in building supermarket chains, convenience stores, markets ... to promote domestic consumption ...


By Thanh Nguyen/Bui Diep - Customs News