Vietnam agricultural opportunities huge: Australian Minister

At the signing ceremony (Photo: VNA)    Can Tho (VNA) - The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) on August 21 signed a letter of intent to enhance bilateral cooperation in agricultural research.   The letter was signed by Le Quoc Doanh, MARD deputy minister, and Peter Horne, ACIAR’s general manager for country programmes, on the sidelines of the APEC Food Security Week now underway in the Mekong city of Can Tho.   Speaking at the signing ceremony, Doanh said that many joint projects between ACIAR and Vietnam had added value to Vietnamese agricultural products, and had enhanced Vietnam’s agribusiness sector and capacity of scientists and researchers. "The signing of the letter of intent today is the result of great bilateral cooperation, with joint efforts from researchers and policymakers on both sides," Doanh added. Horne said the new partnership would have mutual benefits for both countries.   [Vietnam, Australia boost agricultural cooperation] ACIAR, which began its work in Vietnam in 1993, has completed 170 projects in the country, worth almost 100 million AUD (72.9 million USD) in investment in research. The 10-year strategy provides a roadmap for Australia and Vietnam to work in equal partnership with mutual contributions and benefits for economic growth, security and innovation, according to Horne.   The strategy will guide future programmes in collaborative research, including research themes, geographic foci and funding priorities from 2017 to 2027. In the next decade,…... [read more]

NDO – An exhibition on food products and new agricultural technologies in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum has officially opened in the Mekong Delta province of Can Tho on August 21. The event was held as part of activities during the APEC 2017 Food Security Week and a High-Level Policy Dialogue on Enhancing Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture in Response to Climate Change. The exhibition features 18 booths with a wide range of special agricultural products from six APEC economies, such as green tea (Japan), cereals (Australia) and milk (the US). Vietnam had eight booths featuring products from rice to corn, high-yielding fruits, models of machines and equipment serving for agricultural production along with information on intelligent technologies responding to climate change which are currently being used in Vietnam. Speaking at the opening ceremony, Vice Chairman of the Can Tho city People’s Committee Dao Anh Dung said that the exhibition offers an opportunity for APEC member economies to exchange and share their experience as well as enhance cooperation to promote the sci-tech applications in agricultural production, increasing agricultural productivity and meeting requirements for food and nutritional security. He also emphasised that over the recent years, many programmes and projects have been implemented in the Mekong River Delta region to help farmers sustainably produce and synchronously apply technical solutions which will increase the productivity and quality of agricultural products thus improving the income of farmers and to assist in coping with climate change. On the same day, the Vietnamese Ministry…... [read more]

Agricultural economists, scientists and policymakers from Vietnam and other Asian countries are gathering for an international conference from October 13-15 to deal with challenges facing the region’s agricultural sector in the future. Asia has long been emerging as an economic force in the world, however the region still has to contend with thorny issues related to poverty reduction, food security, more equitable income distribution and natural disasters. Delegates at the three-day event also discussed the latest development strategies and evaluated the influence of policies on agriculture and farmers. They affirmed that the agriculture sector plays a significant role in the region’s economic development, and is now being confronted with food insecurity due to overpopulation and rapid urbanization. During the conference, leading experts from agriculture-based economies such as India, Bangladesh and Vietnam shared their experience in increasing productivity and preserving cultivated land for sustainable development. Dr. Uttam Deb Dr. Uttam Deb, principle scientist from India’s International Crop Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), said Vietnam should exploit its advantages of a large labour force and improved technologies to further develop its agricultural sector. The country has the potential for developing aquaculture and cattle rearing, not only for domestic consumption but also for export. To make full use of market opportunities, agricultural productivity should be enhanced through collaboration with ASEAN and international agricultural research centres, and negotiations with the WTO, he said. Dr. Uttam Deb highly valued Vietnam’s incentive policies towards agriculture, saying that they will help the sector provide a boost…... [read more]

The Australia Awards Program has increased women’s participation in higher education and their voice in decision making and leadership. More than 50% of the annual 250 Australian scholarships in Vietnam have been granted to women. In the Cao Lanh Bridge Project, Australia is working with the Vietnam Women’s Union in Dong Thap province and Can Tho city to help local women address the socio-economic impact of the project. The women are also provided with advice on how best to use compensation received for land acquisition, and on vocational training options to support alternative employment. “We would encourage the Government of Vietnam to place a greater priority to address issues such as women’s economic empowerment and leadership, gender violence and the marginalisation of vulnerable groups, including those with disabilities in the next Socio-Economic Development Plan and the subsequent Plan of Action for Gender Equality by 2020,” said Australian Ambassador to Vietnam, Hugh Borrowman. As part of Australia’s commitment to support Vietnamese women’s empowerment, during her official visit to Vietnam in February 2014, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop announced a total of AUD4.2 million for two projects to be delivered in partnership with the Vietnam Women’s Union. “In Vietnam, we will invest over $2 million in a new agricultural research partnership project to be delivered through the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research,” Bishop said. “This program will support more than 2,000 women from ethnic, minority and poor, smallholder farming families in Lao Cai province enabling them to increase vegetable production by…... [read more]

Vietnamese and Philippine Foreign Ministers hold talks During a visit to the IRRI on October 27, President Sang praised its achievements in researching new higher quality rice varieties that produce bigger yields, helping reduce poverty worldwide. Since 1963, Vietnam and the IRRI have been cooperating by inviting Vietnamese scientists to carry out research at the institute, with 232 Vietnamese scientists studying there and nearly 500 others undertaking research projects. According to the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), rice strains originating from the IRRI have helped south Vietnam increase productivity by 9.8 percent from 1985-2009. The same day, President Sang laid wreaths at the Monument of Filipino National Hero, Jose Rizal, and attended the unveiling of the Statue of Ho Chi Minh at ASEAN park. Speaking at the unveiling ceremony, the Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Hoang Tuan Anh, said that the relations between the two countries have grown and flourished and cross-cultural exchanges have been promoted in recent years. Mr Tuan highlighted the two countries’ decision to erect the Statue of Ho Chi Minh at Manila’s ASEAN Park to celebrate the 35th anniversary of diplomatic ties. The statue project marks a new step forwards deepening the friendship between the two countries, Mr Tuan said.... [read more]

The 50-year project will cover hi-tech milk cow farming, milk processing and milk products processing, and animal feed production. It will develop a herd of 5,350 milk cows from 2008 to 2017. Tuyen Quang province will provide investment incentives for the project, such as preferential enterprise income, export, import and value added tax rates, and preferential land rents. Geoff Morri, head of the representative delegation of the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research in Vietnam, pledged to take responsibility for the efficiency of investments in Vietnam. Mr Morri said he hoped that Australia’s modern breeding and milk processing technology would actively contribute to economic development in Tuyen Quang province.... [read more]

Members of the delegation include Ramat Negev mayor, Moshe Rifman, and head of the research and development department of the Ramat-Negev Research and Development Centre (RNDAC), Yaacov Moscovitsh. They will hold a working session with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and pay working visits to Hanoi, Bac Ninh, Quang Ninh and Hai Phong. On the occasion, RNDAC will sign a cooperation agreement with MARD’s steering committee for agricultural training to implement a cooperation programme in Israel. Accordingly, the programme will help to train Vietnamese farmers and students in the field of agriculture. Participants in the 11-month training course in Israel, aged between 20 and 30, will have a chance to increase their knowledge of modern agricultural production and management and to work in fields. They will receive a monthly salary and enjoy insurance services according to Israeli law. Over the past four years, Israel’s international agricultural research and development centres have cooperated with MARD and a number of universities, colleges and vocational training schools in Vietnam in sending Vietnamese farmers and students for training courses in Israel. So far, as many as 300 Vietnamese people have attended such training courses, and the figure is expected to rise in the future.... [read more]

The project, with total funding of AUD1.4 million provided by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), is set for implementation over the four year period from 2014-2018. It aims to assess opportunities at localities and finalise plans to control the development of temperate and semi-temperate fruits in the north-western region. The goal of the project is to apply advanced techniques and varieties to develop a market based on the consumers’ demand to connect to markets which can make greater profit. Speaking at the seminar, Deputy Prime Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Quoc Doanh said the north-western is the poorest region in Vietnam and has received investment and foreign aid to improve people’s living conditions. The Deputy Minister said developing temperate zone fruits is one of the orientations to help farmers in the region reduce poverty. However, there remain difficulties and challenges such as lack of information about the market, the application of cultivation techniques and post-harvest management. Doanh in turn expressed hope that the project will help the region seek economic solutions to connect farmers to the market and offer opportunities for growers of fruits to increase their income. For his part, Australian Ambassador to Vietnam, Huge Borrowman emphasised cooperation among localities and organisations should put the results of research into practice and improve people’s living standards. The ambassador affirmed the project will adopt a new approach to promote a dialogue and information sharing to develop temperate fruits in accordance with characteristics of each locality.... [read more]

Vietnam agriculturalists honoured by Crawford Fund By Tran Thu in HCMC Seven leading Vietnamese agriculturalists have received medals from the Australian Crawford Fund in recognition of their contributions to capacity development in the agriculture, forestry and fisheries sectors. The Crawford Fund is a non-profit, non-government organisation from Australia, dedicated to raising awareness of the benefits of research to developing countries. The fund often provides support to training associated with the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) funded projects. Over the last 15 years, Crawford Fund has supported master classes and training courses for over 600 Vietnamese scientists. The training includes research management master classes and courses in fisheries, plant diseases, improved crop production practices and forestry. Fund representatives will visit Nghe An, Phu Tho and Lao Cai Provinces, training and research activities have received support. The group will also seek opportunities to work with Vietnamese scientists for further development of research capacity in agriculture. The seven awardees were Professor Le Viet Ly, former Vice Director of the National Institute for Animal Sciences; Professor Ha Minh Trung, Vice-President of the Vietnam Gardening Association, former Director of the Plant Protection Research Institute; Professor Cu Xuan Dan, former Rector of Hanoi Agriculture University; Madame Dao Thi Minh Chau, Head of Department for Ethnics and Religions, the Vietnam Women’s Union; Dr Le Thanh Luu, Director of Research Institute for Aquaculture No. 1; Professor Le Dinh Kha, former Director of Research Centre for Forest Tree Improvement, the Forest Science Institute of Vietnam; and Dr…... [read more]

Mekong Delta urged to confront climate change By Chinh Phuc - The Saigon Times Daily CAN THO - Local and foreign experts at a two-day conference ending last Friday in Can Tho City called on localities in the Mekong Delta to heighten preparedness to cope with consequences of climate change as the region is forecast to be hit the hardest by natural disasters in the future. Experts attending the forum suggested many solutions to help the delta tackle negative impacts of the disasters. The event is a significant step towards the United Nations Climate Change Conference that will be held in Copenhagen, Denmark, said Danish Ambassador Peter Lysholt Hansen. The Australian government pledged to cooperate with Vietnam to cope with developments of climate change and raise public's knowledge of the matter. The Australian Center for International Agricultural Research will fund US$3.5 million for a research on a new rice variety that can grow in the changing climate, said Australian Ambassador Allaster Cox. Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Pham Khoi Nguyen appraised the forum as a playground for leaders, scientists and donors to set up urgent actions to confront impacts of climate change. The forum also aimed to raise people's and government offices' awareness on the problem and boost international cooperation in the sector, said the Government Office Chairman Nguyen Xuan Phuc. The Can Tho University has plans to open a three-day seminar for further discussion on solutions for climate change in the middle of next month.... [read more]

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