Vietnam, Netherlands strengthen agricultural cooperation

Vietnamese and Dutch experts compared notes on scientific, technological and financial solutions to boost sustainable agricultural development and respond to climate change in the Mekong Delta at a forum in Ho Chi Minh City on March 21.

A panel discussion at the forum. (Photo: VNA)

“The Vietnam-Netherlands: Mekong Delta Business Forum 2024” was organised by the Embassy of the Netherlands in Vietnam, and the European country’s Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City.

Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Tran Thanh Nam said the Mekong Delta is a key agricultural production hub of Vietnam, providing 56% of rice output, 70% of aquatic products, and 64% of fruits for the domestic market and exports.

However, limited transport infrastructure remains a bottleneck in regional development, along with climate change impacts, saltwater intrusion and erosion, although the Government and localities have taken a string of countermeasures, the official noted.

He also briefed the participants on the development plan for the Mekong Delta for the 2021-2030 period with a vision towards 2050, which targets green, nature-based agricultural transformation, and the enhancement of transport and logistics connectivity with Ho Chi Minh City and the southern key economic zone.

To that end, the region needs huge resources in terms of science, technology and finance, he said, stressing the importance of international cooperation and investment, including that from the Netherlands, in this regard.

Dutch Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management Mark Harbers pointed to both opportunities and challenges to agriculture in Vietnam and its Mekong Delta region, and affirmed that the Netherlands stands ready to share its experience and cooperate with Vietnam in delta planning, with solutions that harmonise economic growth and nature conservation.

Dutch Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality Christianne van der Wal-Zeggelink said agricultural development programmes in special regions like the Mekong Delta need the engagement of different sides.

Agricultural production in the context of climate change requires crop varieties with high tolerance to soil salinity, she suggested, adding that pesticides should be replaced by natural enemies to ensure product quality and protect the environment.

Within the framework of the working trip to Ho Chi Minh City by the Dutch business delegation, enterprises and organisations of the Netherlands and the Mekong Delta signed 18 memoranda of understanding and cooperation agreements in many fields, from aquaculture and sustainable rice cultivation to water treatment technology, and climate change response.

Source: Vietnam, Netherlands strengthen agricultural cooperation | Nhan Dan Online