According to Deputy Minister PhungDuc Tien, the value of the livestock productionsector is about VND 265 trillion, equal to over 5% of GDP of Vietnam. The Fisheries sector is about VND 230 trillion, accounting for about 4% of GDP. As a result, these two sectors accounted for over 9% of the country's GDP. In 2018, fisheries production reached 7.75 million tons, an increase of 6.1% over the previous year, of which capture yield of 3.36 million tons, aquaculture reached 4.15 million tons. Seafood export reached USD 9.02 billion. Livestockproductionraisedup by 5.6%, of which pigs production increased by 2.7% to 28.1 million; 409 million of poultries; 5.6 million of beef. Livestock export reached about USD 700 million. Remarkably, in 2018 Vietnam had exported chicken production to the most difficult market which is Japan.
Livestock productionand Fisheries still have many opportunities for strong growth despite facing many challenges. About fisheries sector, the main challenge to overcome in the year of 2019 is to get rid of the yellow card by the European Commission. At the same time, the sector need to boost up aquaculture, especially marine farming. Our country has over 3,260 km of coastline, 1 million square kilometer of sea surface; 1,055 large reservoirs, which has at least over 5 hectares of water surface area each; 115 big rivers flow into the sea. All of those resources demonstrate that there is an extremely large area in the country for aquaculture.
In addition, 2019 is also the year thatthe new Fisheries Law goes intoeffect. According to the 2017 Fisheries Law, the works of allocating of sea surface, attracting large enterprises to aquaculture, prioritizing marine farming, ensuring a closed production chain, guaranteeing security and national defense. Regarding marine farming, ourneighbor countries as well as other foreign countries in all over the worldare doing very well on farming. They use very high technology, actively produce and prepare necessary factors for farming from breeds, nurturing methods, farming cages, supporting logistics and processing of fisheries.
In the beginning of the year of 2019, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development focused on giving some strategicinstructions for fisheries sector and livestockproduction as followings:
Organizing a national conference on tra fish development. This year, tra fish export had made a significant record, reaching USD 2.26 billion, an increase of 26.3% over the previous year. Technology for producing tra fish products and productivity of our tra fish production is on top of the world. Many Vietnamese enterprises reached international management standard. Consequently, we are confident to compete other competitors and develop this industry.
After tra fish conference, it would be a conference about shrimp. Our farmed shrimp production has reached over 800 thousand tons. In near future, it must be pushed up to 850 thousand tons. In recent times, shrimp farming in Bac Lieu province has gained the certificate of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). This is an important step for Vietnam shrimp to confidently penetrate into the world most difficult markets.
The next step is to organize a national conference on sustainable fisheries exploitation, set a determination to eliminate yellow cards by the European Commission and comply with legal fishery regulation.
In terms of livestock production, the task set by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development for 2019 is completing 7 Circulars and 2 Decrees. At the same time, the strategy for restructuring of the livestock industry must be summarized and combined.
Livestock agriculture has seen significant growth in the past year. However, there are also many potential risks to overcome. Firstly, livestock agriculture is still in small scale with high density of farming. Secondly, the risk of pollution is extremely high. The epidemic diseases potentially occurs, especially disease in pig, African hog cholera, from China. According to Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations(FAO), 25 out of 32 provinces in China have had this dangerous disease with 104 outbreaks, 950 thousand pigs have to be destroyed. Meanwhile, the exchange of tourists, goods and food product between Vietnam and China is very large during the period of Lunar New Year. For that reason, the risk of spreading the disease in Vietnam is very high.
It should be noted that, for sustainable development, a good veterinary management system is required. In 2018, the veterinary sector gained three major achievements that need to be praised. The first one was the first time that the vaccine had been produced in Vietnam. The second is to build a model of disease-free shrimp farming to meet the criteria of OIE in Bac Lieu province. The third achievement is chicken is qualified enough to export to Japan.
This year, the target for the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development assigned by the Prime Minister is very challenging. According to the given target, agriculture product export needs to reach USD 43 billion. Therefore, right in the very first days of the year, the whole industry have launched a positive and active working spirit. Even though there are very difficult given targets, but the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, leaded by Minister Nguyen Xuan Cuong, who has wonderful experience in directing production, courage, intelligence, together with determination of the whole industry, businesses enterprises accompanying farmers, is believed to fulfill all given tasks.