Agriculture dogged by high cost and low quality

Created 06 January 2018
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CAN THO – High production cost and low product quality are two major hindrances to agriculture development, heard a teleconference held by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on January 4.

Farmers harvest rice on the field in the Mekong Delta. High production costs and low product quality are two major hindrances to agriculture development - PHOTO: TRUNG CHANH

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Xuan Cuong cited data of the General Statistics Office as indicating that the production value of the agriculture sector last year increased by an estimated 3.16% against 2016, of which cultivation, breeding, forestry and aquaculture rose by 2.23%, 2.16%, 5.17% and 5.89% respectively.

The sector’s export revenue reached nearly US$37 billion last year, a year-on-year rise of 13%, he added. The trade surplus was estimated at US$8.5 billion, US$1.1 billion higher than in 2016.

Le Minh Hoan, Party secretary of Dong Thap Province, said high production cost and low product quality should be dealt with as soon as possible.

Farmers in the Mekong Delta, including Dong Thap Province, always want their products to get higher prices, he said, and authorities in Dong Thap often tell farmers that prices are heavily dependent on supply and demand.

Therefore, according to him, they should find ways to cut production costs to raise their profit margins.
In terms of product quality, many consumers do not trust the quality of local agricultural products, he said, citing a report.

He proposed the Government issue a decree on agricultural co-operatives whose missions are to enable farmers to cooperate with one another in a bid to reduce prices of products and improve product quality.
Co-operatives also support farmers to embrace the fourth industrial revolution, according to him.

He also suggested the Government set up regional commodity associations which are operated as multifunctional organizations with the participation of central and local agencies, enterprises, and farmers.

These organizations are responsible for devising a long-term strategy for each type of commodity, and a short-term action plan, as well as proposing policies for removing group interests and unfair competition, he said.

The agriculture ministry, according to him, should adopt a program or resolution to step up controls on the quality of fertilizer and other agricultural materials, thereby turning out high-quality farm produce.



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