31st Sea Games - Vietnam 2021 Covid-19 Pandemic
Dec 24, 2020 / 16:09

Vietnam agro-forestry-fisheries exports record impressive growth

Digital transformation in agriculture is a great challenge, but if achieved, it will open up many opportunities for Vietnam's agricultural sector.

Vietnam’s export turnover of agricultural, forestry and fishery products is forecast to reach US$41.25 billion in 2020, an impressive growth despite the diffiuclties caused by Covid-19 pandemic, according to local experts. 

 An overview of the online seminar entitled “Looking back the struggling year of Vietnam’s agriculture against Covid-19” is held on December 24 in Hanoi. Photo: danviet.vn

Speaking at the online seminar entitled “Looking back the struggling year of Vietnam’s agriculture against Covid-19”, Dr. Dao The Anh, Deputy Director of the Vietnam Academy of Agricultural Sciences said that the figure exceeds expectations. “In such a serious situation of the pandemic, thanks to the diversified export structure, we have achieved positive results in the agro-forestry-fisheries exports such as rice and rubber gloves for medical services,” he said. 

In addition, the fruit and vegetable sector has made progress in investing in post-harvest processing, in particular, some processing factories will come into operation in the coming time, added Mr. The Anh.

Sharing the same view, Mr. Hoang Van Tu from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Vietnam said Vietnam's growth in agroforestry and fisheries exports remained unchanged while that of other countries has declined. This is attributed to the country's good containment of the Covid-19 epidemic, which facilitates the normalization of production activities while meeting consumer demand in markets where Covid-19 is not under control.

"Vietnam has taken advantage of and expanded the export of agricultural, forestry and fishery products," Mr. Tu said.

According to FAO, when the whole world is in crisis and the supply chain is broken, Vietnam still maintains the export of essential agricultural products, especially to Africa, China, the Philippines, and low-income countries. 

According to Mr. Nguyen Thanh Son, Chairman of the Vietnam Poultry Association, the advance in agro-export is due to the opening of a number of new markets. Previously, the sector only focused on five key products in the export of agricultural products, but this year it has a diversified structure of agricultural exports. Agribusinesses have also started producing according to the traceability chain and accelerated agricultural processing. 

“We actively signed trade agreements, especially the CPTPP, EVFTA which have opened up many export opportunities for agriculture, forestry and fishery products,” Mr. Son said.  

However, the agricultural sector is still affected by increasing technical barriers, especially those in place to prevent the spread of the pandemic, so Vietnam's participation in free trade agreements is also a strategy to deal with technical barriers. "These barriers are a challenge that will motivate us to improve product quality, penetrate the most demanding, largest and highest value markets," said Son.

Mr. Tu from the FAO said as Vietnam joined and signed a number of new-generation free trade agreements, that will bring a lot of opportunities for the Vietnamese agriculture, but also technical, environmental and social barriers to expand exports. 

To solve these barriers, Vietnam's agricultural sector needs strategies, of which financial tools are needed to promote responsible investment in agriculture, as well as accelerating digital transformation in the sector. “I think digital transformation in agriculture is a huge challenge, but if succeeded, it will open up many opportunities for Vietnam’s agricultural sector,” Mr. Tu said.