The government has underscored the role of the private sector in the Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA) strategy and sustainable agricultural development, saying it will work towards attracting more local and foreign companies to get involved in this field.
At the opening of the second Global Conference on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change on Thursday in Hanoi, prime minister Nguyen Tan Dung said Vietnam is heavily vulnerable to natural disasters and climate change.
In the 2007-2011 period alone, natural disasters killed over 430 people and caused property damages equivalent to around 1 percent of the nation’s GDP, Dung said.
According to forecasts, Vietnam is among the few countries to suffer consequences of climate change, especially rising sea levels. The nation’s agricultural production will be at risk.
The action plan of the local agricultural sector to cope with climate change is aimed at increasing agricultural output volume by 20 percent, cut carbon emissions by 20 percent and reduce poverty by 2020. To achieve these targets, Vietnam will need to create more catalysts for investors inside and outside the country to do business in the agriculture and rural development sector.
The prime minister said Vietnam in the near future would focus on tapping potentials in those areas, boosting science and technology research and development, and minimising losses during and after harvests. The country will also improve land policies, connect production with processing industry development and adopt more incentive policies to attract more local and foreign investors to develop agriculture and rural areas.
Statistics of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development indicate only some $130 million in public investment is oriented towards climate change adaptation in the agriculture sector. Only $22 million is sourced from the State Budget while the remainder is from official development assistance (ODA) loans.
In fact, to obtain the goals of the action plan against climate change, Vietnam will need total investment of up to $3.5 billion. “This is the reason why Vietnam looks set to lure more private sector investors to carry out agricultural and rural development projects to translate the targets into reality,” minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat said.
Phat said representatives in the three preparatory working days of the conference centered on ways to remove impediments to development of environmentally-friendly agriculture in Vietnam. They also called for Vietnam to launch more drastic policies to encourage private sector investment in agriculture and rural development.