In his opening remarks, Chairman of the VFU Central Committee Luong Quoc Doan highlighted the central role of farmers in agricultural development, new-style rural building, national defence and security safeguarding, saying this year’s forum provides a platform for open discussions to put forth proposals to improve the farming profession.
Vice President Vo Thi Anh Xuan said farmers play a key role in realising socio-economic goals. Rural areas have been growing on a modern path, with nearly 65% of communes nationwide receiving the new-style rural status, she said, adding that many districts and communes have started advanced new-style rural building.
Farmers’ current average income is 2 – 2.5 times higher than that of 2010 when the country began to implement the national target programme on new-style rural building, she stated.
Xuan pointed out numerous challenges facing the agriculture sector, including unsustainable development, poor performance of the collective economy, limited science and technology application, pollution, an ageing workforce and low productivity, among others.
The Vice President asked the VFU to collect recommendations and proposals put forward by farmers, agribusinesses and delegates at the forum which can lay a basis for the adoption of new policies and solutions to address short- and long-term issues.
Many delegates proposed “knowledgisation of farmers”, which means heightening farmers’ educational backgrounds and competency as well as professional skills, expertise in management, business and production, and knowledge in agriculture and social and economic issues.
The number of agricultural labourers now stands at around 17.7 million, accounting for about 32.8% of the total workforce. The rate is forecast to drop in the future, likely to cause labour shortages in the sector.