Vietnam ready to work with FAO towards sustainable food systems: official

Vietnam is ready to coordinate with the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and international partners to achieve the targets of this year’s World Food Day (October 16), an official has said.

Harvesting rice in Dong Ich commune of Lap Thach district, Vinh Phuc province (Photo: VNA)
Harvesting rice in Dong Ich commune of Lap Thach district, Vinh Phuc province (Photo: VNA)

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Quoc Doanh made the remark at a ceremony marking the 41st World Food Day and the 76th anniversary of FAO in Hanoi on October 15.

The World Food Day 2021, themed “Our actions are our future - Better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life”, aims to improve awareness of the demand for support for the transition to more effective, flexible, and sustainable food systems. It is also meant to call for joint actions to ensure that food systems are able to supply safe food with reasonable prices and adequate nutrition so that people everywhere can enjoy a dynamic and healthy life.

Doanh said agriculture plays a highly important role in ensuring food security and social and livelihood stability for more than 60 percent of the rural population in Vietnam. It also contributes 18.85% of the GDP.

Despite impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change, agriculture has firmly guaranteed food security for nearly 100 million people in the country and supply for export, he noted, adding that agricultural exports brought home US$35.5 billion in the first nine months of 2021, up 18% year on year.

Not only paying attention to agricultural production, Vietnam also attaches importance to the role of digital technology and innovation in improving food productivity and safety. It has worked to connect producers with consumers, minimise food losses and wastefulness, boost the resilience of the farm produce supply chain, and promote green and sustainable consumption - an effective solution to protect the environment and community health towards sustainable development, according to the deputy minister.

Vietnam is ready to coordinate with FAO and international partners to work towards the targets of this year’s World Food Day, thereby helping achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, Doanh said.

He added the country also wishes to continue receiving assistance and support from FAO in the time ahead.

Francisco Pichon, Country Director of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), said themes related to nutrition and gender equality will be the key issues in the next cooperation programmes between FAO and Vietnam.

He noted the FAO-Vietnam cooperation and actions today are to ensure that no one is left behind, there will be no malnutrition or inequality in the future, and better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life are secured for Vietnamese people.

In September, the first UN Food Systems Summit was held to create consensus on new actions to change the ways the world produces and consumes food so as to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

Deputy Minister Doanh said President Nguyen Xuan Phuc’s participation in this event demonstrated Vietnam’s commitment to shifting to and developing a transparent, responsible, and sustainable food system in the “new normal”.