Vietnamese Agriculture Conference 2021



  1. Background:
    - Africa, a large continent with a population of over 1.2 billion people, is widely known of its dynamics and great potential for economic cooperation. In Africa, agriculture remains the main economic sector and an important driver for development. Nowadays, in Africa, arable land accounts for 60% of the whole world, agriculture employs 60% of people in working-age and contributes at least 15% to the continent's GDP.

    However, the agricultural development in some African countries is still modest (only 6% of the arable land is irrigated, 90% of agricultural production is at small scale, agricultural growth rate reaches a half of that of developing countries)1, yet to meet the needs of the people. It is due to the dependence on imports and lack of high yielding varieties and fertilizers, low mechanization and irrigation, and impacts of climate change. Africa’s agricultural and food imports turnover in 2019 reached approximately USD 36 billion and is expected to increase to USD 110 billion by 2025.
    - Agriculture is a traditional field of cooperation between Viet Nam and Africa since the 1980s through various forms of: i) agricultural production in the model of bilateral and tripartite cooperation within the South-South framework; ii) trade in agricultural products. On agricultural production cooperation, at bilateral level, Vietnam has signed more than 26 documents on agro-fisheries cooperation with African countries, implemented the project “Cooperation in research and development of food crops and food plants in the period of 2013-2017” with Mozambique. In the tripartite cooperation, from 1996 until now, Vietnam has participated in projects with the Republic of Guinea, Namibia, Mozambique, Senegal, Benin, Madagascar, the Republic of Congo, Chad, dispatched more than 400 experts and technicians to Africa with the financial support of third parties such as FAO, France, JICA, South Africa, etc. The agricultural projects that Viet Nam has participated in Africa supported the dissemination of intercropping and overlapping techniques to increase the productivity of local crops (rice, sweet potatoes, soy beans, etc.) from 2 to 4 times higher, thus improving local people’s living standard and solving food security. The results of agricultural projects are highly appreciated by African countries. The Vietnam – Africa tripartite cooperation is also considered as a model within South-South cooperation framework. On trade, Vietnam’s total agricultural trade turnover with Africa has been increasing steadily over the years. In 2020, it reached 3.8 billion USD, accounting for about 60% of the total import and export turnovers between Viet Nam and Africa. In particular, Viet Nam exports to Africa mainly rice, coffee, pepper, tea, seafood, etc., as many Viet Namese products have penetrated well into the African market. On the other hand, Viet Nam imports raw materials from Africa for domestic processing and export such as cashew nuts, wood, cotton, fruits, etc.
    Top trading partners of Viet Nam in the region are South Africa, Egypt, Cote D’Ivoire, Ghana, Algeria, Nigeria, and Cameroon. However, the scale and extent of agriculture cooperation between Viet Nam and Africa are still limited, not commensurate with the potential and strengths of the two sides.

    - In the future, agriculture remains a very promising field of cooperation between Vietnam and Africa. The 2063 Agenda, Africa’s strategic framework between now and 2063, aims to build a prosperous Africa based on inclusive growth and sustainable development, which relies on modern agriculture to increase production, productivity, added value for the national prosperity and food security throughout the continent. It is forecasted that between now and 2050, the population of Africa will be doubled, and Africa’s food production will rise by 60% while supply will still fall short of demand. Therefore, Africa will have great demand for inputs (fertilizers, seeds, equipment, machines, etc.), agricultural production and processing technology as well as investment capital.

    - Viet Nam, from a food importing country, 30 years later becomes the second largest agricultural products exporter in Southeast Asia and the 15th largest in the world. The total export turnover of Viet Nam's agricultural products reached USD 190.5 billion, USD 41.2 billion in 2020. With its agricultural products present in 196 countries and territories, Viet Nam advocates developing a modern and smart agriculture, linking to the international market, and adapting to climate change. Vietnam also focuses on investing in the agricultural infrastructure system and enhancing its integration to the global agricultural value chain.

    - Viet Nam and Africa both have common interests in enhancing agricultural cooperation towards mutual benefits by promoting the comparative advantages of each side, improving each country's ability to meet the increasing demand for agricultural products, especially the high-quality agricultural. Otherwise, both sides should take advantage of regional and international free trade agreements that each party participates in to expand trade and promote investment in production and processing of agricultural products. To this end, apart from promoting internal capability of African countries and Viet Nam, the support from development agencies and international organizations are of great significance. With the aim to further promote agricultural cooperation between Viet Nam and Africa in the 4.0 industrial revolution, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Viet Nam in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Viet Nam and the International Organization of La Francophonie co organize the international Conference “VIET NAM - AFRICA AGRICULTURE COOPERATION: ENHANCING CONNECTIVITY, ENSURING SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT”

    2. Objectives and Contents:
    2.1 Objectives:

    a. Overall objective: To enhance the effectiveness of agriculture cooperation between Viet Nam and Africa.
    b. Specific objectives:
    i) Identify the potential and demand for agriculture cooperation between Viet Nam and Africa under new circumstances;
    ii) Identify measures to remove difficulties and obstacles, prompt and appropriate legal policy recommendations to strengthen agricultural cooperation between the two sides;
    iii) Unify the awareness and create new motivations for agencies and businesses in agricultural cooperation with Africa;
    iv) Connect partners which are agencies, institutes, businesses, and donors in the field of agriculture; v) Exchange and sign agricultural cooperation agreements.

    2.2. Contents:
    The conference will focus on two main topics: Trade in agricultural products and the cooperation in agro-fisheries production/processing through exchange and discussion on the following contents:
    i) Current status, potential, demand and opportunities to enhance the agricultural cooperation between Viet Nam and African countries in the field of trade, aquaculture, food crops, etc.;
    ii) The difficulties and obstacles of the relevant ministries, industries, and enterprises in the agricultural trade and cooperation;
    iii) Solutions to remove hindrances and support enterprises of both sides;
    iv) Forms and mechanisms of cooperation with Africa under the new circumstances;
    v) Mobilizing financial resources for agricultural cooperation with Africa.

    3. Tentative time and venue:
    - Time: 13:30-17:30 on 9th September 2021 (Hanoi local time (GMT +7))
    - Venue: Pan Pacific Hotel, Hanoi
    - Form of organization: On-site and Virtually (video conference).
    - Language: Vietnamese, English, French

    4. Participants: 200-250 persons Viet Nam side:
    i) Ministries and organizations: Office of the Government, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ministry of Industry and Trade, Ministry of Information and Communications, VCCI, State Bank of Viet Nam, etc.;
    ii) Viet Nam's diplomatic missions in Africa: (Embassies and Trade Offices);
    iii) Relevant associations and enterprises in agricultural trade, production, and processing;
    iv) Local provinces which have strengths in agriculture;
    v) Research institutes and training centers in agriculture.

    Africa and international partner side:
    i) Relevant ministries, organizations, associations, and enterprises of African countries;
    ii) Embassies of African countries in Viet Nam and non-resident African Embassies accredited to Viet Nam;
    iii) African Union, sub-regional economic organizations in Africa (ECOWAS, SADC, EAC, etc.);
    iv) Development partners, including France, FAO, JICA, IFAD, UNIDO, OIF, African Development Bank, Islamic Development Bank, etc.

    Can be downloaded HERE, along with the Registration Form.