The agricultural sector is a pillar of Vietnam's economic growth. In 2022, agricultural export turnover reached more than $53 billion for the first time, accounting for more than 75 per cent of the total export value of the country. Eight product groups with export turnover of more than $2 billion including coffee, rubber, rice, vegetables, cashews, shrimp, basa fish, and wood products.
|Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Le Minh Hoan |
To maintain this role as the backbone of the economy, there is still a lot of work to be done to modernise agriculture, especially regarding human resource development. Vocational training is currently a bottleneck in the sustainable development of the country's agriculture.
Although trained employees have increased rapidly, bringing the rate of qualified workers to 24 per cent, most receive short-term training, and the percentage of workers with degrees and certificates from the elementary level or above is low, at less than 5 per cent.
Between 2016-2020, the number of students registered to study agriculture, forestry, irrigation, and fisheries decreased by more than 30 per cent compared to the previous five years.
Labour in the agriculture, forestry, and fishery sectors currently accounts for 30 per cent of the total number of employees across the country, but students enrolled in these departments were less than 2 per cent of the approximately 520,000 students attending universities in 2022. Some traditional agricultural areas have enrolled few or even no new students recently.
This directly affects the quality of the industry's human resources in many aspects, from state management, production, and business, to research, application, and transfer of sci-tech.
The situation poses challenges to realising the goal of industrialisation and modernisation of the agricultural sector and rural development towards ecological agriculture, modern rural areas, and civilised farmers.
To overcome the above shortcomings and prepare human resources for implementing Resolution No.19-NQ/TW and the Strategy for Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development in this decade, with a vision to 2050, the Party Personnel Committee of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development issued Resolution No.37 in May. This should help innovate and improve the effectiveness of training high-quality human resources for the sustainable development of the sector before 2030.
The goals of the resolution clearly state that training high-quality human resources is needed to meet the quantity and quality requirements to build an ecological agriculture sector in a vibrant countryside, with innovative farmers forming a team of professional, knowledgeable, and skilled agricultural professionals to become a catalyst for rural economic development by 2030.
To achieve these goals, it is necessary to have the attention and leadership of the Party and state, and the support of ministries, central agencies, and localities, especially collaboration between vocational training facilities, and the business community.
Training institutions need to invest in and upgrade facilities and equipment for teaching and learning, while renovating the recruitment, fostering, and development of lecturers and teachers. Universities should concentrate on enrolment promotion, expanding many new training disciplines, and meeting the needs of society and learners.
The business community should actively participate in training and providing scholarships to support learners, especially in agricultural industries that are difficult to enrol in.
Manufacturers also have opportunities to access new technology and knowledge from research activities and technology transfer from universities through state funding and support from international projects.
These efforts have made an essential contribution to increasing the trained labour force and accelerating the industrialisation and modernisation process. These advancements will build the foundations to ensure that Vietnam is among the top positions of the world's major agricultural exporters.
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