The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) is pursuing a 1.78 percent increase in the cultivation sector’s production value for 2019 in an effort to attain a US$21 billion export target.
According to the General Department of Vietnam Customs, the cultivation sector’s 2018 production value reached an estimated VND482 trillion (US$20.8 billion), a rise of 2.52 percent compared with 2017. Le Van Duc, Deputy Director of the MARD’s Department of Crop Production, said that 2018 was a successful year for the cultivation sector.
Weather conditions were favorable to the growth of longan, litchi and some other fruit trees in the north, as well as the cultivation of rice and short-day crops in the south. Industrial crops, such as cashew, coffee, tea, rubber, and fruit trees, such as litchi, longan, orange and mango, gave bumper harvests. Overall, the 2018 yields of most crops exceeded those of 2017.
One of the most outstanding results of the cultivation sector in 2018 was the export of rice, which reached an estimated US$3.03 billion, up 16.1 percent in value and 4.5 percent in volume compared with 2017. The export price increased from US$452 per tonne in 2017 to US$502 in 2018. High-quality products accounted for about 80 percent of Vietnamese rice exports.
Fruit and vegetable exports continued growing with value reaching an estimated US$3.8 billion, up 8.5 percent compared with 2017. Despite narrowed growing area, the yield and export value of rubber increased. Coffee, cashew and pepper yields were also up.
The planting of additional crops in coffee growing areas yielded good results, increasing farmer incomes. Survey results show that the economic benefit of planting coffee and pepper in the same areas in Dak Lak Province, for example, is 1.69 times higher compared with planting coffee only. The planting of fruit trees, such as avocado and durian, together with coffee in the same areas also enables farmers to earn VND192 million per hectare per year.
The cultivation sector is pursuing an annual export value target of US$21 billion and a 1.78 percent increase in production value for 2019, which will help it create higher added value, increase farmer incomes and contribute to hunger eradication and poverty reduction, sociopolitical security, environmental protection and climate change adaptation.
Nguyen Nhu Cuong, acting director of the Department of Crop Production, said major tasks of the cultivation sector in 2019 include further restructuring of crops, especially turning inefficient rice fields into growing areas of other crops. Other goals are reorganizing household farming activities according to large-scale production models where linkages among farmers, as well as between farmers and businesses, are encouraged, to create supply chains; and popularizing effective new production models.
Le Quoc Doanh, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development: In 2019, the cultivation sector is focusing on developing high-value crops, paying attention to specific elements such as growing area, planting techniques, the use of pesticides and marketing.