Kết nối nghiên cứu với thực tiễn
cho một nền NÔNG NGHIỆP tăng trưởng toàn diện
Agri Sector Must Adapt to See Full WTO Benefits
11 | 08 | 2007
Vietnam’s agricultural sector needs to overcome challenges and increase economic efficiency in the wake of World Trade Organization membership, said agricultural experts from Australia, compiling the framework for ASEAN Good Agricultural Practices (GAP).
The experts agreed that the WTO membership opens a huge playing field for Vietnam, with more than five billion consumers, 95 per cent of the world’s commercial value, and import revenue worth $635 billion per year.
The challenges created by the organization, however, are also great, especially in the agricultural sector. The matter at hand is to make all efforts to overcome and effectively protect domestic production.
Dr Nguyen Quoc Vong, an expert from the Agriculture Department in New South Wales, Australia, said at a recent seminar held by the Vietnamese agricultural and aquatic product trademark building club, that Vietnam does not have enough skilled farmers and professional agronomists.
Despite being a leading nation in agricultural exports, living standards of Vietnamese farmers remain low due to unsustainable agricultural development and ineffective land use.
Dr. Vong took rice production as a typical example, saying that value per cultivation area of rice was far lower than that of other plants or fruit trees.
Vietnam currently has seven million hectares of rice but just 1.4 million ha of fruit trees, while the vegetable and fruit import demand of WTO member countries reaches almost $103 billion, in comparison with only $10 billion for rice. Income for rice growers is, therefore, always lower that of other crop growers, especially fruit growers.
Vong said Vietnam is facing challenges emerging from WTO regulations on quantity, quality, price, and food safety and hygiene.
To meet WTO regulations, the agricultural experts are calling on the industry to focus on the GAP program and improve pre- and post-harvest technology. Other factors, such as packaging, the use of pesticides and laborers’ working conditions and social insurance, are to be considered as well.
Doctor Joseph Ekman, an agricultural expert from New South Wales in Australia said WTO member countries have their own food safety requirements such as EuroGAP of the EU and FreshCare of Australia, ensuring consumer safety and operating as technical barriers protecting their domestic production.
Vietnam, he said, needed to quickly build a VietGAP program, based on the ASEAN GAP that was created for ASEAN members in November 2006.
He also urged the agricultural sector to map out a strategy developing the fruit, vegetable and flower industries to increase export value.
Like the EuroGap and FreshCare programs, the VietGAP program for local farmers could not only help them meet WTO regulations but also serve as a so-called technical barrier protecting domestic agricultural products, he added.
In related news, despite the country’s uneven crop cultivation planning, Vietnam has managed to become the world’s largest pepper and cashew exporter, surpassing India. Globally, it is ranked second in rice and coffee exports in 2006.
In 2006, Vietnam reportedly fetched a total earning of US$7.16 billion from shipping agricultural and forestry products abroad. The figure is expected to increase to $8 billion this year, thanks to better world market agricultural product prices. (Liberated Saigon)

Báo cáo phân tích thị trường