04 Apr 2013 -- The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development (IPSARD) co-organised the Vietnam Agricultural Outlook Conference 2013 in Hanoi. The Conference was of a particular interest to broad audience since it provided an insight to rice, livestock and aquaculture sector outputs in 2012 and outlook for 2013 and addresses problems and perspectives in Viet Nam’s rural development.
The conference presented that agriculture has grown consistently for many years but it has been outpaced by industry and services sectors as investments have been directed where factor returns are higher. The contribution made by the agriculture sector to GDP has declined from around 25 per cent in 2000 to about 20 per cent in 2012.
Agricultural sector was the only sector having trade surplus in 2012 - agricultural exports were US$ 27.5 billion, imports US$ 16.94 billion. Consequently, Viet Nam’s agricultural sector could be affected significantly from external shocks particularly price shocks and eventually influent to 60 million of people living in the rural area, their livelihoods depending mainly on agriculture. Presently the rural population accounts for 70.4 per cent of the total. 43.8 million (51.2 %) of the Vietnamese workforce of are working in forestry, agriculture and fisheries. Agriculture is important for the lives and incomes of the people and for economic viability of the country.