Ministry set to launch agricultural stimulus program

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is preparing a multiple-target agriculture stimulus program it will soon submit to the Government for approval.

Employees of HCMC-based Tan Binh Export Food Co. buy pineapples from farmers in the city’s outlying Binh Chanh District (Photo: SGGP)

The program targets restructuring production to match demand, providing farmers funds and seedlings, easing production of items that are facing export difficulties, and improving product quality and minimizing post-harvest loss among others. 

The ministry also wants investment in rural infrastructure doubled to VND4 trillion (US$227.3 million) to enable easy transport and sale of farm produce.

The Government should help farmers buy machinery and implements, it said.  

At a recent meeting held by the ministry, a State Bank of Vietnam official said two measures are now vital -- preventing cheap goods from flooding the domestic market and expanding exports while boosting local consumption.

Experts have said the ministry’s program should focus on four major areas -- rice production, husbandry, fisheries, and traditional rural jobs.

The Government’s economic stimulus plan should give priority to agriculture to improve farmers’ incomes, generate more jobs, and boost consumption, said Dr Dang Kim Son, head of the Agricultural and Rural Development Strategy and Policy Research Institute.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat said his ministry would ask the Government for financial support to farmers cultivating a third annual crop to increase rice output for export.

The ministry also called for building a warehouse system with a capacity of 4 million tons of rice to facilitate rice purchase in the Mekong Delta and exports.

The Government should consider putting up technical barriers against two import items -- animal products and fruits and vegetables -- to protect domestic production, the minister said.

By Van Phuc Hau – Translated by Quang Tho

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