Vietnam, JICA Seek Ways to Promote Agricultural Cooperation

Vietnamese Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Minh Hoan and Chief Representative of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Vietnam Office Shimizu Akira had a face-to-face meeting on November 17 to promote the cooperation on agriculture, state media reported. Both sides acknowledged the ties over the past 50 years, notably in the agricultural sector. They have developed and deployed the mid-and long-term vision of agricultural cooperation in 2015-2019 and 2020-2024. As of 2019, Vietnam’s agriculture benefited from ten Japan-funded projects. At the meeting, Mr. Shimizu Akira informed that the JICA is forming a food value chain project in Vietnam’s northern region. The project is expected to launch in March next year, focusing on strengthening the capacity and functions of cooperatives, producing safe agricultural products, and green agriculture. He also noted that the JICA would support the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) in increasing the participation of the private sector in agriculture, especially in agriculture with information technology applications. The JICA official expected to further work with Vietnam in preventing natural disasters. He attributed that the JICA will run two projects on such issues in Vietnam, including developing a master plan for natural disaster prevention and control in the central region and reducing landslide and flash flood risks in the northern area. The JICA also vowed to collaborate with Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap to send local students to Japan, Mr. Shimizu Akira added. In reply, Minister Hoan highly appreciated JICA’s supports in recent years. The minister wished to receive more JICA’s support to improve the capacity of high-quality agricultural laborers, build a large fishery service center in central Khanh Hoa province, and raise capacity building for Vietnam’s fisheries surveillance force. Mr. Hoan suggested that JICA use the Mekong Delta region to develop the climate-change project because the region is home to 50%-60% of Vietnam’s agriculture but is heavily affected by climate change. Besides, he called on the JICA to support Vietnam to build institutions, agricultural policies, and new rural models towards Vietnam’s Strategy for Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development by 2030, with the vision to 2050. (Nong Nghiep)