Agro-forestry-aquatic exports: Set to attain target

08:57 | 28/08/2017 Trade

(VEN) - The US$33 billion 2017 target set for agro-forestry-aquatic exports is feasible, according to Nguyen Quoc Toan, Deputy Director of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s (MARD) Agro Processing and Market Development Authority. He spoke at a meeting of the Domestic Market Management Team in July.  

agro forestry aquatic exports set to attain target
Coffee exports have grown strongly in value

The seafood factor

According to MARD, Vietnam exported US$20.5 billion worth of agro-forestry-aquatic products in the first seven months of this year, a rise of 14.7 percent compared with the same period in 2016.

Seafood stands out in this group. In the second quarter of this year, shrimp exports grew 28.2 percent, reaching US$938.9 million. In the first seven months, Vietnam earned nearly US$1.9 billion from exporting shrimp, up 15.6 percent compared with the same period last year. Tra fish exports in the first seven months also brought in nearly US$1 billion despite numerous difficulties. The export value of other kinds of seafood, such as tuna, mollusks, cuttlefish and octopus, has grown steadily. Seafood exports are expected to reach US$8 billion by year’s end, up 14 percent compared with 2016.

Fruit and vegetables have surpassed rice to the forefront of key Vietnamese exports, with seven-month value reaching US$2.03 billion, up 48.9 percent compared with the same period last year.

Vietnam will begin exporting poultry to Japan in the near future. It is negotiating the export of these products to the Netherlands, too.

Pork export hindrance

Despite the feasibility of the annual target set for agro-forestry-aquatic exports, Toan warned that domestic firms must take into account the strict requirements in foreign markets in terms of food safety and hygiene, as well as disease control. “Pork, for example, is a potential export product. But it’s not easy for Vietnam to export pork via official trade channels, even to China,” he emphasized.

Sharing this opinion, Nguyen Loc An, Deputy Director of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Domestic Market Department, said the biggest hindrance to pork exports is related to quality. Vietnam remains unable to export pork due to its noncompliance with quality requirements for these products. To export pork and other agro-foresty-aquatic products, in his opinion, it is necessary to establish links between producers and traders. To promote sustainable exports, businesses should apply modern processing technologies to create quality products, he added.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade plans to continue coordinating with MARD to accelerate the restructuring of the agriculture sector in order to increase its added value and create suitable products for export.

The 2017 target for export value of agro-forestry-aquatic products was set at US$33 billion, 3.05 percent higher than last year’s result. The annual production value of the cultivation sector is expected to grow at least two percent, animal husbandry three percent, seafood five percent, and forestry 6.6 percent.

Phuong Lan