Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan has praised the agricultural sector for taking the lead in reducing the national trade deficit.
At a conference in Hanoi on December 24, Mr Nhan said that the sector has contributed considerably to stabilizing the macro-economy and improving farmers’ living conditions.
The Deputy PM pointed out some important tasks for Vietnamese agriculture in 2012 including defining the major staples for investment, increasing investment efficiency, and paying more attention to using modern technologies.
He said the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) should coordinate with the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs to provide shorter, simpler and more practical vocational courses for farmers.
Mr Nhan stressed that the agriculture sector must continue to keep a firm grip on food safety, and strive to create specific plans for large-scale slaughter houses in localities, especially in big cities.
MARD said that in 2011 it took a series of measures to boost output, ensure food security and export nearly 7.2 million tonnes of rice. It reported that Vietnam exported agro-forestry and fishery products for nearly US$25 billion, a 29 percent increase over the same period last year. As a result, Vietnamese agriculture enjoyed a trade surplus of more than US$9.2 billion, which helps reduce the country’s trade deficit.
Deputy PM Nhan also highlighted the importance of restructuring the sector and selecting varieties of plants and livestock that are suitable for each region.
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