Vietnam targets 3.8 million hectares under rice cultivation

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has signed a resolution for a comprehensive national agriculture development plan for 2011-2020, with a vision for 2030, which targets blocking 3.8 million hectares under rice cultivation.

The plan targets to retain 3.8 million hectares of land for rice cultivation, to ensure domestic food security and for exports to reach   a target of US$40 billion, with the present average product value per one hectare being VND70 million.

The ratio by 2020 for agro-aqua-forestry products is targeted at: agriculture 64.7 per cent; forestry 2 per cent; sea products 33.3 per cent. During the period 2011-2020, the annual GDP for agro-aqua-forestry product growth is expected to be 3.5-4 per cent.

Vietnam is expected to export 6.8-7.3 million tonnes of rice and   880,000 tonnes of rubber this year, grossing $2.1 billion.

This year export of cashew nuts of more than 200,000 tonnes is estimated to reach $1.75 billion, compared to 178,000 tonnes at $1.5 billion in 2011.

This year, the country is also set to export 140,000 tonnes of tea compared to 131,000 tonnes last year.

It is also expected to earn $2.7 billion from coffee exports and $6.6 billion from aqua exports.

Currently, the country has 4.1 million hectares of paddy. Vietnam also needs to ensure that in its national plan for 2020, it must ensure enough land is allocated for infrastructure such as roads, tourism, urban development, schools and cultural centres.

To implement the resolution, the Prime Minister has assigned the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development two main tasks. The first is to make a detailed plan for wet-rice cultivation, and based on the plan; identify wet-rice cultivation areas that need to be preserved.

Only by implementing these regulations can provinces be stopped from finding loopholes to convert rice fields into other forms of cultivation as they have done before.

The PM approved a national food security plan to ensure food security in the country, which needs 3.8 million hectares under rice cultivation by 2020, including 3.2 million hectares for wet-rice cultivation.

1.1 million hectares of land will be converted into agricultural land in which 37,000 hectares will be used for rice cultivation. In 2020, the area for forestry will be 16.2-16.5 million hectares.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural development has finished the detailed zone planning for wet-rice cultivation and submitted it to the Prime Minister for approval. The plan has been made in detail for the provincial, district, and commune levels, and so identifies clearly the areas where rice fields must be preserved.

Translated by MT

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