LookAtVietnam – Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Ho Xuan Hung has affirmed that Vietnamâ€™s agriculture greatly benefits from WTO membership. However, the big problem now is that farmers, businesses and even policy makers still do not understand the international market well.
What has Vietnamâ€™s agriculture got from the WTO membership in the last four years?
I can say for sure that Vietnamâ€™s agriculture has got big benefit from the global integration. If we had not become a member of WTO, I believe that we would have met bigger obstacles in economic development. Global integration does not simply mean selling Vietnamese goods on the world market or importing goods from other countries. More importantly, with the integration, over the last few years, the technical progress in agriculture has been imported very quickly to Vietnam, thus helping Vietnamâ€™s agriculture develop strongly. Secondly, the integration also helps us expand knowledge in marketing, which has been the weak point of Vietnam. The integration also helps heighten Vietnamâ€™s position on the international tribune.
Vietnam not only takes pride in its revolutionary traditions, its rich culture, but also in its farm produce, such as rice, pepper, cashew nuts and tra fish. A lot of countries have to come to Vietnam to negotiate the prices of farm produce.
So what are the biggest problems of Vietnamâ€™s agriculture after four years of joining WTO?
The biggest problem is that after four years of joining WTO, we still do not understand the world market well, from farmers, businesses to policy makers. The world market has been running on its rules. Many of the rules have become familiar to other countries in the world, while they remain unfamiliar to Vietnam.
The second problem is that Vietnamâ€™sbrands are still weak and unable to obtain sustainable development and heighten the productsâ€™ value. The third one is that Vietnamese enterprises, when reaching out to the world, still cannot cooperate with each other. they have even been competingfor customers and causing losses to each other. The fourth problem is that sectors have not well programmed their development strategies.
Under the WTO commitments, in 2011-2015, most of the measures to protect agricultural production will be removed. What will Vietnam have to do in order to ensure the high competitiveness of Vietnamese products?
To date, there is no country in the world that does not subsidize its agriculture. Even the big countries like the US also subsidize farmers, because agriculture is a difficult field which always faces high risks, while agricultural production much depends on the weather. However, as Vietnam has joined WTO, it has to apply different subsidization methods. Instead of giving direct support, we have to give indirect support by helping train farmers and provide marketing training courses, helping them seek markets and make investment in rural infrastructure.
|A recent survey conducted by the Central Institute of Economic Management (CIEM) shows that farmers remain uninformed about the stateâ€™s support measures. The survey shows that most farmers do not have capital and they can only pay for rice varieties and other materials at the end of crops, when they have got the money from selling rice.
Many farmers said that they had to buy fertilizer and other materials and make deferred payments, because they cannot borrow capital from banks. In order to get bank loans, farmers have to mortgage the land use right. in some cases, commercial banks still refuse to give loans. The Government has released a new policy that ensures the minimum 30 percent profit for farmers. However, farmers say they have not heard about the policy.
Source: Dau tu, Saigon tiep thi