10/11/2010 | 16:41:57

Vietnam attaches importance to agriculture

Vietnam considers agricultural and rural development one of the top priorities in sustainable development as it not only ensures food security and helps maintain political stability but also improves farmers’ living conditions and contributes to world food security.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung made the statement while receiving President of the International Fund of Agricultural Development (IFAD) Kanayo F. Nwanze in Hanoi on November 9.

At the reception, the PM said he was pleased with fine developments in the Vietnam-IFAD relationship and thanked the fund for its effective assistance to Vietnam in past years.

Despite great achievements in agricultural development and improving people’s lives, Vietnam remains a poor and low-income country due to the serious aftermaths of the war, Dung said, adding that the country is forecast to be hardest hit by climate change, especially rising sea levels, with over 30 percent of agricultural land areas to be submerged.

Vietnam needs more support from the international community, including IFAD, to focus investment on agricultural and rural development, he said.

The Government leader expressed a wish that IFAD would discuss cooperation and assistance programmes for Vietnam in the next five years and introduce effective cooperation models between the two sides as well as Vietnam’s agricultural development experiences with the international community.

For his part, Kanayo said his visit aims to visit IFAD projects in several Vietnamese provinces and attend the third International Rice Congress in Hanoi.

Revealing his impression of Vietnam’s socio-economic development achievements, Kanayo said Vietnam is an example for developing countries to learn from as it has moved from a country with food shortages to a rice exporter, making important contributions to ensuring world food security.

He said he wished that Vietnam would further strengthen its cooperation with IFAD in long-term agricultural and rural development and affirmed that his fund will invest 150 million USD in agricultural development projects in Vietnam.

Earlier, PM Dung received heads of delegations to the third International Rice Congress./.

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