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World Bank promises continued support of VN agriculture sector

World Bank promises continued support of VN agriculture sector The World Bank pledged to continue its support of Viet Nam’s agricultural sector at a meeting in Ha Noi on Thursday.

Speaking at the meeting, World Bank Assistance for Agriculture and Rural Development—Business Plan 2006-10, director of the bank’s Asia Pacific Rural Development and Natural Resources Section Mark Wilson said he hoped funding would be used towards solving the State’s priority issues.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has asked the World Bank for help on many development projects: installing irrigation systems in mountainous provinces and areas specialising in coffee, tea and sugar cane; upgrading river embankments and other defences for natural disasters; and improving water sanitation and hygiene.

The World Bank will also work with the ministry to raise the quality and competiveness of agricultural products and services.

In a decisive statement of support, Wilson said the World Bank would help Viet Nam eliminate hunger and reduce poverty, promote sustainable agriculture development, and improve structural defences against floods, storms and drought.

He also called for futher discussion on Viet Nam’s relationship with international organisations. The country must establish domestic standards for the agricultural sector, he said, and also abide by international requirements.

The meeting also heard from acting minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat, who stressed that the World Bank had made significant financial contributions to the domestic agricultural sector.

Since 1995, the bank has given about US$1 billion to 14 ministerial projects of which nearly $42 million was non-refundable aid or co-sponsored grants.

In 2004 alone, the World Bank has financed four projects, including one to help Viet Nam recover from the avian flu outbreak.

Phat said that both sides must work together to build a long-term training programme for ministerial officials and local authorities to advance management capacity and effective loan disbursement.

Vietnam economic review - (28/09/2004)

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