Agro-forestry-fishery sector displays vitality

July 13, 2023 | 11:00
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The agro-forestry-fishery sector has ridden out the storm since early this year, setting ambitious export goals despite increased barriers from foreign markets.
Agro-forestry-fishery sector displays vitality
Export markets are being diversified to help meet national targets, photo Le Toan

The total export turnover of the agro-forestry and aquatic products sector was reported at $24.59 billion in the first half of this year, down from 11.1 per cent from the same period last year, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).

The export value of the group of main agricultural products reached $12.79 billion, and livestock products was $232 million, signifying a respective decrease of 12 and 26.5 per cent on-year. Meanwhile, aquatic products reported a plunge of 27.4 per cent on-year to $4.13 billion, and main forestry products were estimated total export revenue of $6.5 billion, down 28.2 per cent.

MARD Deputy Minister Phung Duc Tien said, “The difficult situation of the export markets has been forecast since the end of 2022 and the agricultural industry has been proactive in improving the quality and value of products to grind the decreasing momentum of agricultural products’ export turnover.”

“Thus, the decrease of 11 per cent is a noteworthy effort. The most important thing is that we still ensure food security, and retain the role of the agricultural sector as one of the economy’s backbones. Besides this, many key products report billion-dollar export value.”

Accordingly, several products witnessed an export value of over $1 billion each, including coffee, rubber, rice, vegetables, cashew nuts, shrimp, and wood. Aside from this, fruit and vegetable exports reached $2.75 billion in the first six months of this year, the highest ever.

According to MARD forecasts, in the second half of 2023, the agricultural export market has yet to show signs of big recovery. Apart from the fall in exports, Nguyen Nhu Tiep, director of the National Agro-Forestry-Fisheries Quality Assurance Department noted that export markets in general and the EU market, lead the regulations of the world export market, offering additional strict requirements.

“For example, along with previous regulations related to food safety, now they feature issues related to sustainable development, forcing agricultural manufacturers and processors to improve the capacity to adapt to market requirements. Besides this, businesses also pay more attention to technical factors to be able to expand the market,” Tiep said.

Despite difficulties, Vietnam has set an ambitious goal of achieving agricultural, forestry, and fishery export turnover of $54-55 billion for the whole year.

Accordingly, the export revenue of main agricultural products in Vietnam is projected to reach $25 billion while the export revenue of forestry products and wooden products is anticipated to hit $17 billion and aquatic products are is expected to touch $10 billion. The other sectors are predicted to acquire approximately $3 billion.

Deputy Minister Tien said that to realise the above target, what is most important is to diversify the export market and foster trade promotion. It is also necessary to boost the disbursement of public investment capital to improve the quality of infrastructure of the agricultural sector.

“The MARD will also accelerate to complete circulars and planning to submit to the government for approval, which are the foundation to create better conditions for businesses to expand their operations,” Tien said.

“Regarding products having billion-dollar export turnover, we will try to keep this pace in the remaining six months of the year. Especially, in the fruit and vegetable sector, which acquired record milestones in the first half. If we can retain this momentum, it can surpass $5 billion for the whole year. If we do well in seeding, deep processing, and market expansion, an export value of $10 billion will definitely be possible.”

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