Agricultural sector reports trade surplus in seven months: deputy minister

Despite the complicated developments of the COVID-19 pandemic, agriculture is one of the few sectors to report a trade surplus in the first seven months of 2021, at an estimated US$3.9 billion, according to Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Phung Duc Tien.

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Tien, who heads the ministry’s Working Group 3430 on steering agricultural production and consumption in northern cities and provinces, announced the information on August 10 while chairing a meeting with representatives from businesses and associations involved in the processing, fisheries, husbandry and farming industries.

He stated that, thanks to the active and continuing operations of its two working groups, the ministry has introduced many flexible response measures in the face of the COVID-19 complexity, thus keeping on track with the goal of achieving US$43-44 billion in export revenue this year.

The ministry has researched many scenarios about the location, time and supply output of agricultural products, Tien said, adding that the view of the ministry is to always accompany localities, both during and after the pandemic.

One of the policies of Working Group 3430 and the ministry is to organise production in 21 northern cities and provinces to be able to satisfy the shortage of food and foodstuff in southern localities which have been imposing social distancing since mid-July 2021, the deputy minister continued.

He noted that northern localities are performing well in pandemic prevention and control, while also ensuring the supply of food and food products.

“We all know that the southern provinces are severely affected by COVID-19. In addition to promoting reproduction after the pandemic is put under control, the agricultural sector should consider a reserve, not only to serve local consumption, but also ready to supply support for the south. This is an urgent requirement, helping to regulate supply and demand and stabilise prices,” Tien reminded.

He asked the ministry’s subordinate units, the Departments of Agriculture and Rural Development of cities and provinces, and the People’s Committees at all levels to thoroughly deal with the problems regarding circulation, warehousing and harvesting.