During its regular press conference held on September 29, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) assessed that the growth target for the agricultural sector, from 3.4% to 3.5%, is feasible. However, the most critical point is to focus on boosting the export of various agricultural sectors to reach the $54 billion export target.
According to Mr. Nguyen Van Viet, the Head of the Planning Department at MARD, in the past 9 months, the agricultural sector has achieved impressive growth in various areas. Specifically, crop cultivation has increased by 2.6%, the highest increase in many years; livestock farming has increased by 5.1%; forestry has increased by 3.2%, and aquaculture has increased by 3.6%. In particular, the total agricultural production value in the first 9 months reached approximately VND 1.1 quadrillion. In addition, the sector has ensured food security, and there are positive signs in the export market. In September, wood exports began to increase, while the aquaculture sector only saw a slight decrease.
In total, the export and import turnover in the first 9 months reached $68.92 billion, a 7.5% decrease compared to the same period last year. The trade surplus reached $8.04 billion, a 22.5% increase over the same period last year. Although some major export items have decreased significantly in value, the export turnover is estimated to reach $38.48 billion, a 5.1% decrease compared to the same period last year. However, the agriculture and livestock group has seen value growth. Agriculture reached $19.54 billion, a 16.7% increase, with significant contributions from the vegetable group (up 71.8%), rice (up 40.4%), cashews (up 14.3%), and coffee (up 1.9%). Livestock products are expected to reach $369 million, a 26.4% increase. According to Mr. Nguyen Van Viet, if the agricultural sector maintains an export level of $5 billion per month for the remaining 3 months of the year, the $54 billion export target set by the Prime Minister could be achieved.
In the field of rice exports, Vietnam is focusing on the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) market. In the first 8 months of the year, rice exports to CPTPP countries reached 4.24 million tons, worth $2.25 billion, up 31.4% in quantity and 46.3% in value compared to the same period in 2022. The Philippines, China, and Indonesia are currently Vietnam’s three largest rice importing partners within CPTPP.
Deputy Minister Phung Duc Tien of MARD affirmed that despite reaching a record level of rice exports, domestic food security is still guaranteed. In the current challenging circumstances, the agricultural sector continues to achieve positive results through the efforts of the entire sector in improving crop and livestock structures, utilizing resources for production and consumption of agricultural products.
For the remaining months of the year, MARD aims to focus on exporting various sectors to achieve an overall sector growth target from 3.4% to 3.5%. Deputy Minister Phung Duc Tien has requested relevant agencies to cooperate effectively to control product quality and expand the list of export products. At the same time, it is necessary to gather market information to support farmers and avoid overproduction that cannot be consumed. Market issues need to be addressed to create favorable conditions for the export of agricultural and aquatic products, especially to markets such as China, the United States, the EU, and the Asia-Europe Economic Union. It is essential to leverage free trade agreements like CPTPP and EVFTA to boost the export of agricultural, forestry, and aquatic products.