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Vietnam ready to share experience in agriculture and rural development

Vietnam is willing to cooperate and share experiences in agriculture and rural development with other countries through the FAO’s South-South Cooperation Programme.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung made this affirmation at the 31st meeting of the FAO Regional Conference for Asia and the Pacific (APRC) which opened in Hanoi on March 15 with the participation of agriculture ministers and leaders from 40 FAO member countries.

The biennial event focused on food security and poverty reduction in rural areas -an urgent issue as nearly 1 billion people in the world are suffering hunger.

The APRC report said the conference is taking place when food security and poverty around the global and throughout the Asia Pacific region remains a huge challenge that hinders the joint efforts to fulfil the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of reducing hunger by half by 2015.

Currently, agriculture plays an important role in the socio-economic development of most Asia Pacific nations. Many countries in the region have combined efforts to stimulate agricultural development by boosting food production, renewing policies, and increasing investment in agriculture and rural development.

In his speech, PM Dung praised the achievements made by international organizations, especially the FAO, in improving food security. However, Mr Dung said developing nations in the Asia Pacific region are facing difficulties in ensuring food security and reducing poverty due to rising population, shrinking agricultural areas, scarcer water resources for agriculture production and the negative impacts of climate change and epidemics.

Vietnam’s agriculture is closely linked to the lives of the rural 70 percent of its population and attracts nearly 50 percent of the country’s workforce. It plays a crucial role in ensuring national food security and alleviating hunger to speed up the process of national industrialization and modernization.

After 25 years of carrying out the Doi Moi (Renewal) process, Vietnam has recorded significant achievements in food production, seafood exports and industrial crops. From a country facing food shortages, Vietnam has become the world’s second largest rice exporter and ensured food supply in the face of a national population increasing by 1 million per year.

Over the past 23 years, Vietnam has contributed more than 80 million tonnes to the global rice market and exported large volumes of agro-forestry-fishery products. The country has shared its experiences in agricultural development with many countries, thus receiving great acclaim from the international community.

To reach the goal of developing a sustainable agriculture, Vietnam is restructuring agriculture by fully tapping potential areas, applying advanced technology in production, and encouraging farmers to renew production in combination with developing the processing industry and consumer products, protecting the environment, and coping with climate change and sea level rise, PM Dung said.

The Government leader said he hopes the conference will come up with more effective solutions to deal with issues related to food security and poverty reduction, particularly in rural areas.

Earlier on the same day, PM Dung received FAO Director General José Graziano da Silva and heads of delegations.

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