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Over the past years, agriculture, forestry & fishing sectors have made significant achievements, contributing to the national security, economic development, poverty reduction, trade balance, reducing inflation, defending the territory as well as stabilizing socio-political situation in Vietnam. Although Vietnam has undergone obvious changes in economic and labor structure, so far, nearly 70% of Vietnamese population lives in the rural areas. Therefore, these sectors are the main livelihoods of Vietnamese people.

Exports of agricultural, forestry and fishery products in the first half of 2016 rose 5.4 per cent year-on-year to US$15.05 billion, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The export value of major agricultural produce was $7.32 billion, up 5.1 per cent from the same period last year, while the seafood export value reached $3.07 billion, up 3.8 per cent.

Major forestry products in the period contributed $3.33 billion to the total export value, down 0.1 per cent.

According to the ministry, coffee, pepper, cashew nuts and seafood were sectors that showed strong growth in the first six months of the year.

The greatest increases of 39.8 per cent and 17.6 per cent in volume and value were seen in coffee exports, helping the industry gain an export volume and value of 985,000 tonnes and $1.71 billion respectively.

Cashew followed, with a rise of 4.4 per cent in volume and 11.1 per cent in value to 156,000 tonnes and $1.2 billion.

The seafood export value in June only was estimated at $553 million.

Of the first six months’ seafood export value, tra fish contributed $616 million, the Viet Nam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers said, forecasting that the tra fish export turnover this year would be $1.5 billion, a reduction of 5 per cent compared to 2015, due to the enforcement of trade and technical barriers in many import markets as well as low demand there.

Also from January to June, rice, wood and timber products and cassava products, among others, experienced a decline over the same period.

Rice exports, for example, reported declines of 9.8 per cent and 5.9 per cent in volume and value to 2.69 million tonnes and $1.21 million.

Despite a rise in export volumes of 3.5 per cent and 31 per cent, the export value of rubber and tea dropped 11.9 per cent and 2.7 per cent respectively.

In spite of the above mentioned results and active contributions to the socio-economic stability, agriculture, forestry & fishing development is fundamentally based on exploiting the natural resources and consuming high quantities of input materials but low technology. The low development quality is exposed by the high loss level after harvest, uneven quality of products, unsafe food sanitation and low capability in creating new added values.


How to cope with challenges and difficulties as well as to explore opportunities are intertwined with the capability of Vietnam to reform these main sectors in the past years and upcoming years. The prospect to change fundamentally the current situation of the country's agriculture but also with the national economy is obvious and Vietnam needs to spare no efforts to implement the reform plans.