The Government leader made the remark while addressing a hybrid conference of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on January 13. 

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh visits a display of agricultural and handicraft products on the sidelines of the conference on January 13.

Minister Le Minh Hoan reported that the sector has shown strong determination, made great efforts, carried out flexible and creative solutions, and reformed its mindset to overcome difficulties and challenges to achieve targets.

In 2022, the sector’s total value grew by 3.36%, the highest in many years. In particular, agriculture expanded by 2.88%, fisheries 4.43%, and forestry 6.13%. The forest coverage stood at over 42% while the rate of new-style rural areas more than 73%.

Agro-forestry-fishery exports reached 53.22 billion USD, up 9.3% from a year earlier. That resulted in a trade surplus of over 8.5 billion USD, accounting for more than 75% of Vietnam’s total trade surplus.

For 2023, the sector targets a GDP growth rate of 3%, agro-forestry-fishery exports 54 billion USD, the rate of new-style rural areas 78%, and forest coverage stable at 42%, Hoan noted.

In his speech, PM Chinh hailed the sector’s contribution to Vietnam’s common success in 2022.

He pointed out that apart from advantages, the country will continue facing numerous difficulties and challenges in 2023. The sector should strive for a growth rate of 3.5% and exports of 55 billion USD, higher than last year’s figures.

He emphasized the task of developing ecological agriculture, modern rural areas, and civilized farmers while considering farmers as the centre, agriculture as the impetus, and rural areas as the foundation for the sector’s development.

Agriculture and rural development need to focus on promoting product brand building; boosting digital transformation, green transition and circular economy; connecting with cultural and tourism development; diversifying products, markets, and supply chains; improving product quality and the participation in global value chains; and multiplying effective models, the leader went on.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh also underlined the importance of coordinating with other ministries, sectors, and localities to link producers with consumers; optimize free trade agreements, especially the E.U. - Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP); continue removing barriers to enter new markets; and pay due attention to the domestic market.

In addition, it is also necessary to step up sustainable ocean farming and exploitation, strongly carry out recommendations to persuade the European Commission to lift the “yellow card” warning against IUU fishing, increase forest production and development, effectively implement the national target programme on new-style countryside building, foster agricultural cooperation with international partners, and proactively defend Vietnam’s rights, interests, and farm produce, the Cabinet chief went on.

He expressed his belief that with the ministry and localities’ determination and efforts, as well as farmers and businesses’ support, the sector will make stronger progress and gain more achievements in 2023.

Source: VNA