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Experts say Govt should allow farmers to make their own decisions

CAN THO – The Government has set up an agricultural restructuring scheme aimed at raising product value and incomes for farmers, but it should reduce intervention in the program to obtain better results, said an economic expert at a seminar on October 11.

Speaking to the press on the sidelines of a seminar of rice sector restructuring in Can Tho City on October 11, veteran economist Pham Chi Lan said that the Government has added a new idea to the restructuring scheme, stressing the need to use less input materials such as water, soil, plant protection chemicals and labor while raising productivity and product quality. However, to realize this target, the Government should reduce its role in the program.
 
Guidance is necessary but if the Government gives too specific guidelines, it will become unreasonable intervention in activities of businesses and farmers, Lan said.
 
For instance, the Government should not tell farmers to raise which plant or animal but help farmers understand market conditions to make their own decisions.
 
Lan said that the Government must reduce intervention in the agriculture sector via State-owned enterprises since many such firms are more concerned about their own interests instead of farmers’.
 
She petitioned the Government to develop a favorable business environment and good policies to support farmers and businesses. The Government should adopt appropriate policies to attract scientists in the agricultural restructuring process.   
 
She said local customers lost confidence in the quality of Vietnamese farm produce. Therefore, the Government has to strengthen its role in setting standards and ensuring consumption to help farmers. 
  
Lan said the Government should take measures to enhance cooperation among farmers, businesses, scientists and the State to boost agricultural restructuring.
 
She explained farmers must be trained and get information about things such as market conditions and climate change that affect the rice sector in particular and the agriculture and food sectors in general. 
 
Nguyen Trung Kien, head of the commodity markets division at the Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agricultural and Rural Development (IPSARD), told the seminar that perception about rice sector restructuring should be changed. Rice farming is not only to ensure food security but also to increase incomes and improve nutrition so rice processing and trade must get due attention.
 
Kien said the Government approach to the rice sector should be based on market rules. The State should take advantages of the nation’s international integration to support this sector

Take action to restructure the economy and transform the growth model in accordance with the roadmap and proper steps to establish, by 2020, a more in-depth model of economic growth that ensures the quality of growth and a more efficient and competitive economy.

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