Resolution No 10 adopted by the Politburo’s in 1988 defines the role of the household’s economy in agricultural production. The correct policy has brought about great effectiveness, helping agriculture develop comprehensively in recent years the agricultural output has increased by 4.3% and rice production in the Mekong river delta has grown rapidly thanks to investment into irrigation development and technical progress resulted from scientific research.
In 2004, the export turnover of agricultural products reached 4 billions USD. Viet Nam is now considered one of the leading exporters of rice, coffee, rubber and black pepper. Viet Nam exported 3.9 million tons of rice valued 900 million USD, 23% higher than that of 2003 and 100,000 tons of cashew nuts worth 400 million USD (its market has been expanded to the US, China, Eastern and Northern Europe). Wood processing increased the most with a value of 1 million USD accounting for 25% of the total agricultural export volume. Export of coffee reached 900,000 tons, growing nearly 40% in quantity and 30 % in turnover. The export of 900,000 tons of tea brought home nearly 90 million USD (the highest amount so far). And the export of 98,000 tons of black pepper valued 133.7 million USD.
However, there remain several shortcomings. The low quality made it difficult for Vietnamese agricultural products to enter the market of developed countries. Agricultural restructuring and diversification as well as the development of agricultural product processing were carried out at a slow pace. The increase of labor force in rural areas created job shortage and hindered the raising of labor productivity.
Lately, new rural models have come into beings in the Red River Delta. Specially, traditional trade villages have developed into "industrial clusters" and dynamic centers, turning rural tradesmen into businessmen or owners of modern small and medium size enterprises specialized in furniture (Dong Ky), ceramics (Bat Trang), lean pork (Nam Sach), vegetable (Gia Loc), bonsai (Me So) and flora (Me Linh Dong Anh).
According to Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the "New Village" programme will start in the period 2006-2010. The new villages standards include an average income per capita doubling that of the province, 85% population using clean water, 100% households accessing electricity, and a below-20% malnutrition rate. At the beginning, 400 villages (about 6-8 village a province) will be selected to join the programme. The programme will be implemented mainly by the villagers while the Government support will be provided in technical field and partial investment capital. Unlike other programmes such as Program 135 and Clean Water and Environment Sanitation Programme, the "New Village" Program is aimed at developing rural areas in all fields, i.e. infrastructure, commodity production, employment and environment protection.
International cooperation in agriculture: According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), in 2004 alone, thirty one projects were signed, with a total registration of US$ 405 million from ODA of over 20 sponsors, focusing on irrigation, forestry, poverty reduction, natural disaster prevention and mitigation. Many projects have been put into operation, among which were some major projects like Phuoc Hoa Complex Irrigation Project with the total loan of over US$ 124 million from the Asia Development Bank, Viet Nam Resource Management Supporting Project with a loan of US$ 157.8 million from the World Bank and Post-fire Reforestation Project with a grant of US$1.7 million from Japan International Cooperation Agency.
Additionally, there are many other projects for emergency support helping Vietnamese farmers recover from consequences of natural disasters and epidemics such as National Emergency Relief Project for Bird Flu with a grant of US$ 1.3 million from the EU or Emergency Project that provides the Central Highlands’ rice farmers with rice seeds and fertilizer to overcome the consequences caused by drought with a grant of US$ 400,000 from Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
In 2004, the MARD actively participated in international economic integration process, implementing effectively the plans for the 8th WTO multilateral negotiations on fauna and botanic quarantine, taking part in speeding up the implementation of the Viet Nam-US Trade Agreement.
With these achievements, Viet Nam is hoped to become a WTO member as planned and offer more chances for the agriculture and forestry sector to reach the target of US$ 7 billion by the year 2010, contributing to the implementation of export-oriented strategy in agriculture in the coming years.
According to the MARD, in 2005, agriculture will continue attracting more financial aid and enhancing cooperation to implement the strategy on comprehensive growth, poverty reduction and sustainable development in agriculture, forestry and irrigation.
The MARD is finalizing 38 projects for signing with a total estimated capital of over US$ 800 millions, of which the loan values around US$ 680 millions, and the rest is non-refundable aid. Out of these, there are projects on calamity relief with loans of US$ 150 million, irrigation system development in the central region with an ODA capital of US$ 120 million and improvement of infrastructure for water supply, rural sanity and healthcare with a capital of about US$ 100 million.