HCM City plans to continue restructuring its agriculture to make it modern and urban, enhancing the use of technology including bio-technology to produce safe, quality products.

Nguyen Phuoc Trung, director of its Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the city would strive to become a centre for supplying high-quality, -productivity and -value seedlings and animal strains. It would work to meet the market’s needs for safe vegetables, fresh flowers, ornamental fish, and dairy products, he told visiting city authorities. There would be greater focus on environmental protection and co-operation with the tourism sector, he said. His department would co-ordinate with Lâm ??ng Province to carry out preliminary processing of farm produce there before they are transported to HCM City for consumption.

Lam Dong is the city’s biggest supplier of fruits and vegetables, providing 1,500 tonnes a day. Some businesses and co-operatives that are part of the city’s safe food chain, mostly retailers, have invested in human resources and facilities in the province for the preliminary processing of fruits and vegetables.

Le Thanh Liem, deputy chairman of the city People’s Committee, said the department should persuade low-yield rice and salt producers to switch to high-value crops by adopting technology. The agricultural sector should focus on research and adopting high technology including bio-technology at the earliest to improve productivity and quality, he said. The department should help the city effectively implement its new rural development programme and seven breakthrough programmes.

According to the department, despite many difficulties, HCM City’s agro-forestry and fisheries production rose by 5.8 per cent last year to VND 19.59 trillion (US$857.3 million). The country’s average growth was only 1.44 per cent, it said. This year efforts would be made to achieve 6 per cent growth in the city’s agro-forestry and fisheries production, it said. The city plans to expand the areas under vegetables from 15,370ha last year to 17,000ha and flowers and ornamental trees from 2,300 ha to 2,350ha. Breeding of ornamental fish, seafood and edible birds would also be expanded this year, it added.

 Source: Viet Nam News