MARD keen to push new projects

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has given a series of upcoming large-scale agricultural projects a major boost.

Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Cao Duc Phat last week told the leaders of 28 Vietnamese agricultural enterprises that the  ministry would combine with other relevant governmental agencies and local authorities to directly support their projects scheduled for implementation this year.

“The support will lay a firm foundation to create a new wave of agricultural investment inflows in Vietnam, firstly with locally-invested projects, then with foreign-invested projects,” Phat said.

Le Van Quang, chairman and general director of Minh Phu Seafood Corporation, said his firm, known as the world’s biggest shrimp exporter, would implement a nearly  $500 million project to raise shrimps and African carps  nationwide in an integrated production chain, which involved the participation of millions of farmers.

The project will produce 140,000 tonnes of shrimps and 50,000 tonnes of African carps by 2020, in which the firm’s  total revenue will hit $2.5 billion. By 2025, it will produce 200,000 tonnes of shrimps and 100,000 tonnes of African carps so that its total revenue will reach $3.5 billion.

Farmers will enjoy insurance packages and their products will be purchased by Minh Phu at 10-15 per cent higher than the market price. Under this project, Minh Phu will build many factories nationwide as well as a research institute in the southern region.

“We will need special land and tax support from the government,” Quang said.

Minister Phat told Quang that the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) would support Minh Phu for selecting breeds and treating diseases in shrimps. “Together we will also establish a shrimp alliance in Vietnam, which can be developed internationally,” Phat stressed.

Meanwhile, Nguyen Manh Hung, chairman and general director of Nafoods Group, which is the world’s biggest exporter of baby jackfruit and passion fruit products, said “We will occupy 50-60 per cent of the world’s passion fruit export revenue over the next five years. Currently, we are planning to invest VND2 trillion ($93.45 million) into building more factories, and as such we need more land. ”

Nafoods’ total existing revenue is $150 million per year, accounting for 9 per cent of the world’s total passion fruit export revenue. Hung also said that the group last week inked a $1 million export deal with an Australian partner.

At the meeting, Nguyen The Ha, investment consultant from Bui Van Ngo Co. Ltd, said his company would invest VND1 trillion ($46.72 million) in expanding its existing VND1 trillion ($46.72 million) factory to build agricultural machines from 2015, and would also need more land.

Nguyen Lam Vien, chairman and general director of Vinamit who exports jackfruit products, said this company would need 20,000 hectares of land for production, in addition to its more than 500ha in Binh Duong, Binh Phuoc, and Hai Duong provinces.

Tran Manh Bao, chairman and general director of Thai Binh Plant Varieties JSC, announced that his company would invest over VND200 billion ($9.34 million) in building factories and research institutes in Vietnam this year.

Proposals from these four companies and many others have also received support from Phat, who said the MARD would work with local authorities to provide sufficient land for them this year.

“We will maximise our support for hi-tech projects, which will remarkably change Vietnam’s agricultural sector and lure more investors in it,” the minister affirmed.

By Thanh Tung