Corn demand expands, imports show steady growth

A corn field in Moc Chau District in Son La Province. — VNS Photo Viet Nam imported 3.53 million tonnes of corn in the first half of this year, up 5.6 per cent over the same period last year, according to the Crop Production Department. Last year 8.5 million tonnes had been imported, a year-on- year increase of 9.5 per cent, with Argentina, Brazil accounting for 47.2 per cent and 41.2 per cent of the imports. The imports this year are expected to match last year’s, the department said. The area under corn in Viet Nam reached 1.15 million hectares last year, with output being 5.24 million tonnes, the department said. According to the Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development (IPSARD), about eight million tonnes, mostly from imports, are used every year to produce animal feed. The rest is directly used for food, food processing and producing bio-energy, it said. IPSARD has forecast that demand for corn used to produce animal feed is expected to increase to 9 million tonnes by 2020, and the country will continue to rely on imports. With high production cost and low yields, domestic output is unable to compete with imports, it said. Besides, taxes on corn imports are likely to decline in the future. The country hopes to have 1.16-1.26 million hectares under corn cultivation by 2020 and 950,000-1.1 million hectares by 2025, and output of 5.4-5.8…... [read more]

After more than 20 years, Vietnam has become one of the biggest rice exporters, second only to Thailand. Up to now it has exported 75 million tonnes of rice, earning as much as US$23 billion. In 2010 alone, Vietnam exported nearly 7 million tonnes of rice, accounting for 20 percent of the world’s total rice exports. The country has also made a positive contribution to ensuring the world’s food security by sending its experts to other countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, to share experiences. Opportunities and challenges The increasing prices of goods, especially food, in the world market have opened up new opportunities for Vietnam’s exports but also imposed great challenges for the country as it has to spend a lot importing materials and equipment for agricultural production. For this reason, Vietnam is doing all it can to ensure its food security and food exports in the long run. UN expert Koos Neefjes says Vietnam is one of the five countries most affected by climate change. A one-meter rise in sea levels, he argues, would submerge 5,000 sq. meters of land in the Red River Delta region and 15,000-20,000 sq. meters in the Mekong Delta region, leading to a decrease of 5 million tonnes of food. In the face of tough competition from newly-emerging rice exporters in the region such as Myanmar and Cambodia, Vietnam’s opening a free rice market for foreign businesses operating in the country as from January 2011 under WTO commitments is putting rice exports…... [read more]

US Deputy Chief of Mission Claire Pierangelo made the affirmation at the sixth annual seminar on biotechnology in agriculture, which was co-organised by the US Embassy and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, in Hanoi on September 24. The importance of biotechnology in increasing crop productivity, promoting safer and greener farming environment, mitigating climate change impact and ensuring food security was underscored by US and Vietnamese officials present at the seminar. Biotechnology is the best solution to the creation of plant and animal varieties with highest economic value as well as environmental protection, said Tran Xuan Dinh, Deputy Head of the Plantation Department of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. Vietnam was urged to take concrete steps and measures and push ahead the biotechnological application to deal with such challenges posed by climate change as salt intrusion into rice farming areas, especially in the Mekong Delta, the region most vulnerable to sea level rise. Agricultural biotechnology application has been diversified in the world over the years, allowing more than 16 million farmers, as calculated by 2011, to enjoy higher produce output and lower production cost.... [read more]

The 3-day event starting on October 22 has drawn more than 160 businesses delegations, policy markers, and leading researcher from many countries and territories around the world. Deputy Minister Thang highly valued Israel’s technological applications in developing agriculture through its successful models of cooperatives and household farms. Thang said the Government of Vietnam has recently approved a plan for restructuring the agricultural sector to increase crop productivity, improve product quality and competitiveness, and reduce production costs for sustainable growth. Vietnam is studying Israel’s irrigation network to apply in the growing of coffee, tea, pepper, fruits and vegetables in drought-prone Central Highland areas, he added. Beside the conference, there is an exhibition showcasing latest technologies for agricultural production and water treatment in the world.... [read more]

Following is the full text of the declaration. We, the Heads of the Government of the Kingdom of Cambodia, the Lao People's Democratic Republic, the Union of Myanmar, the Kingdom of Thailand and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam gathered in Hanoi, Vietnam on 7th November 2008 for the 3rd Summit of the Ayeyawady - Chao Phraya - Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (hereinafter referred to as ACMECS). We reaffirmedourdetermination to deepen the traditional relations of friendship, good neighbourliness and mutual benefits among the ACMECS countries in the light of the Bagan Declaration. We appreciated the significant outcomes of the 3rd GMS Summit in March 2008 in Vientiane, Lao PDR and reaffirmed our strong commitments to strengthen the closer cooperation in the implementation of the Vientiane Plan of Action 2008-2012 to realise the vision of developing the Mekong sub-region into a region of “integrity, harmony and prosperity”. We reviewed the implementation of the Second ACMECS Summit Declaration and the ACMECS Plan of Action with satisfaction on the significant progress in the areas of cooperation such as trade and investment facilitation, transport, agriculture, industry and energy, public health, tourism and human resource development. We were fully aware of the need for the ACMECS countries to redouble their efforts individually and collectively to move ACMECS forward more effectively and substantively, not only for the interests and benefits of the ACMECS countries, but also for the acceleration of economic integration and development in the Mekong sub-region. We hereby declared as follows: 1.In trade and investment…... [read more]

Raising the added value of farm products is the key to increasing the competitive capacity of the agricultural sector, Phat said in a weekly online Q&A session held by the Government Portal on August 24. He said the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) is implementing an agriculture restructuring programme towards higher added value of products and sustainable development. All localities are required to re-examine their agricultural structure so as to invest more in areas of highly competitive advantage, especially crop production and livestock breeding, to make a higher economic value. They are encouraged to mobilise agricultural investments from other economic sectors, boost technology transfer, and introduce support policies for farmers and businesses in developing these potential areas. Phat said scientific and technological advances have been transferred to farmers in various forms over the years. However, incentive policies are needed to encourage businesses to get involved in this process to ease the financial burden on the State. The MARD has issued a circular for localities to instruct farmers to change crop structure and use high yield rice varieties. He said the ministry has worked closely with several localities to clarify why farmers recently abandoned paddy cultivation and switched to other crops. They initially found that high inputs costs but low prices of products forced famers to abandon their land. Minister Phat confirmed his ministry will help farmers increase their incomes from agricultural production by growing other crops. Given the market economy, Vietnam still reserves land funds for rice cultivation.…... [read more]

Nguyen Tri Ngoc, Head of the Crop Production Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that this would help ensure domestic food security and realize the goal of exporting over 7 million tonnes of rice this year. Thanks to the application of scientific technology advances, the selection of high-yield varieties and favourable weather conditions, the nation’s winter-spring crop yield reached 63.47 quintal per hectare, an increase of 1.2 quintal per hectare over the same period of last year, he added. According to the Vietnam Food Association, rice export prices will continue rising due to the impact of Thailand’s rice prices. VNA... [read more]

The 10-month figures showed year-on-year increases of 37.7 percent in volume and 32.7 percent in value. The demand of two biggest coffee import markets, the US (accounting for 12.11 percent of Vietnam’s export value) and Germany (12.09 percent) continued to grow. Also, coffee exported to Indonesia increased 9.4 times in volume and 8.8 times in value, compared to last year’s period. Vietnam now has surpassed Brazil to become the biggest coffee exporter since the beginning of the third quarter this year, International Coffee Organization statistics show. Coffee exports were forecast to reach 1.6-1.7 million tonnes this year. The ministry’s Crop Production Department said Vietnam must continue to focus on coffee quality for the sector to develop sustainably. The department recommended the application of modern farming techniques and processing technologies, together with the acceleration of promotional activities and trademark protection, to help boost the coffee sector.... [read more]

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has allowed Vietnam to ship longan and litchi to the US market as from October 6. Nguyen Van Liem, Deputy Director of the Vinh Long provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said Mekong Delta provinces should focus on pest and disease control to increase the productivity and quality of longan to meet requirements of foreign importers, he added. Hoang Trung, Deputy Director of the Department of Crop Production (DCP), said Vinh Long, Dong Thap, Ben Tre and Tien Giang provinces have expanded the existing longan area and coordinated with the DCP to raise the quality of longan for export. With experience learnt from the growing of rambutan and dragon fruits, the DCP is providing further training for Mekong Delta farmers to help them strictly follow VietGap standards and regulations on the use of pesticides to meet requirements of demanding markets like the US, Trung noted.... [read more]

Don't eat poultry meat with unclear origins: Ministry The health ministry has recommended that people avoid buying and eating poultry meat that does not have clear origins, to prevent an outbreak of avian influenza A(H5N1) and A(H5N6). The advisory has been issued as over the past few years there have been outbreaks close to Tết (the Lunar New Year) as during this occasion, the consumption of poultry meat is higher than usual. The ministry has also warned people not to slaughter and transport poultry without clear origins. Breeders have been asked to alert authorities if there are unexplained poultry deaths. If people suffer from symptoms such as high fever and difficulty in breathing, they should go to the nearest health centre without delay, the ministry said. According to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), avian influenza has been recorded in many countries this year. Since June, wild birds and poultry have been found with A(H5N8) in Denmark, Germany, Hungary, India and Russia. Scientists have also confirmed a connection between dead wild birds and bird flu found in poultry farms in these countries. The World Health Organization has recorded cases of A(H5N1) and A(H5N6) infections among the Chinese and Egyptians in 2016. Vietnam Institute for Green Urban Research and Development makes debut The Vietnam Institute for Green Urban Research and Development debuted on December 27 at a ceremony held by the Vietnam Fine Art Creation and Design Association in Hanoi. At the launch ceremony, Prof. Dr. Le Huyen, Chairman of…... [read more]