MARD piloting five raw material areas

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) is conducting a pilot project developing five areas of agricultural raw materials, with an area of 160,000 ha and total capital of more than VND1.5 trillion ($65.64 million). The formation of large raw material areas will make the agricultural sector more attractive to investors, and at the same time address fragmented production and lack of links.

With 89% of Vietnam's agricultural products being exported in raw form, unprocessed, the room for businesses to invest in the agricultural industry is huge.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is rushing to develop a pilot project to develop five agricultural raw material zones across the country, with a total area of about 160,000 hectares. According to the plan for the fourth quarter of 2021, the project will be implemented and piloted for 5 years.

EVERY INGREDIENT OF MATERIAL WILL HAVE A DIFFERENT PROJECT Mr. Le Duc Thinh, Director of the Department of Economic Cooperation and Rural Development, said: "The project of developing raw material areas for processing and consuming agro-forestry products in the 2021-2025 period" has been approved by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. and Rural Development approved the policy and are integrating more components on agricultural extension, agricultural insurance and credit.

The project has a total capital of more than 1,500 billion VND, with the goal of creating 5 specialized farming material areas on a total area of about 160,000 hectares. Accordingly, the project will build up to 14,000 hectares of raw materials for the development of passion fruit, pineapple and mango in Son La and Hoa Binh provinces.

The Central Coast region, in the provinces of Quang Tri, Thua Thien - Hue, will build a specialized farming area of 22,900 ha, and develop plantation timber. The coffee-growing area is expected to be established on an area of 11,200 ha in Gia Lai and Dak Lak provinces. The Long Xuyen Quadrangle, in the provinces of Kien Giang and An Giang, will develop a rice-growing area with an area of 50,000 hectares.

Dong Thap Muoi region, belonging to Dong Thap, Tien Giang and Long An provinces, with an area of 60,200 ha, develops fruit trees. The crops selected for pilot development into raw material areas are all key agricultural products of the country, with an export value of billions of USD per year, requiring intensive investment and quality farming. high, to meet export demand. Each material area corresponds to a separate project, suitable to the characteristics of each region with each type of material. A remarkable point is that 5 large raw material areas in the project will be the pilot places to apply many new policies such as the policy of chain credit lending, agricultural insurance... to encourage businesses to invest .

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development will coordinate with localities to build infrastructure, including roads, irrigation systems, cold storage systems, preliminary processing houses, etc. in 5 raw material areas. Farmers contribute their labor and land. Businesses will initially play a key role in leading the value chain of agricultural products, committing to product consumption, and investing in production materials.

To develop the projects, the Department of Economic Cooperation and Rural Development has sent the outlines to 11 related provinces. The content of the project consists of 5 main components: Investment in infrastructure linking raw material areas; Consolidate and improve the capacity of cooperatives and members; Agricultural extension, science and technology transfer; Applying information technology to manage raw material areas in connection with traceability; Piloting and implementing the application of mechanisms and policies to encourage and support the development of raw material areas for association.

As for the infrastructure component of the raw material area, which is identified as the focus, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development will support 440 billion VND from the medium-term public investment capital 2021-2025. When deployed, the component will improve 132 km of roads for agricultural production, upgrade the irrigation system for more than 4,000 hectares of rice and fruit trees. On the local side, the provinces committed to allocate 347.9 billion dong of reciprocal capital to dredge 31.5 km of canals and support equipment and machinery for the cooperative. Enterprises and cooperatives also promised 40.6 billion dong of counterpart capital and 20.8 billion dong of credit loans.

Mr. Le Duc Thinh said that from the first half of 2021, the Department of Economic Cooperation and Rural Development has organized fact-finding delegations on the prospects of the models. Initially, 10/11 provinces approved and sent the official project. When put into practice, 17 enterprises processing and consuming agricultural products, 250 cooperatives and 185,000 farmer households will directly benefit from the project.

CHANGING THINKING AND ACCESSORIES According to Mr. Tran Cong Thang, Director of the Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development, the proportion of investment capital from the state budget for the project is currently more than 30%, which is too high. In specialized cultivation areas, it is necessary to deploy the granting of planting area codes for the entire planned area, and at the same time promote digitization from the management of planting area codes to the application of electronic agricultural extension.

Mr. Nguyen Quoc Oanh, Rector of the School of Agricultural Management, recommended that a large-scale raw material area should be selected for the Ministry to focus on directing, piloting, and finding bottlenecks through production practice. "We mobilize people to build specialized farming material areas, then we have to show them the benefits and why we need to do it. Which ones give early and practical results such as agricultural extension, post-harvest technology, etc.

The agricultural sector needs to be promoted. Mr. Le Minh Hoan, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development. "In order to develop the concentrated raw material area methodically, it is necessary to change the lending policy from the Bank for Social Policies. Instead of prioritizing

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