Vietnam's agriculture

Essay by whiterose16College, UndergraduateB, April 2007

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Agriculture is an significant economic activity in Vietnam, with rice being the key driver of the agriculture sector. In fact, Vietnam's GDP by agricultural contribution is the highest in the South East Asia region, compared to countries that have significant agricultural activities such as Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia; about 68% as opposed to 51%, 57% and 14% respectively . When Vietnam was affected by the Asian Financial Crisis in 1998 and 1999, where the GDP dropped drastically to 5.77% and 4.77% respectively, the Agriculture sector was not greatly affected, although the contribution to the GDP growth showed gradual decrease over the years. This could be due to the shift to a manufacturing-based economy. Nevertheless, based on a report by MARD, agriculture products contributed about 4.224 billion USD to the total export value of 5.9 billion in the first 10 months of 2006. Thus it is evident that agriculture still plays an important part in Vietnam's economy.

Vietnams' food crops have the largest output and accounts for about 50% of the total agricultural production from year 1995 to 2001, growing at a rising trend. Most of this 50% output are rice productions.

Vietnam is the 2nd largest rice exporter in South East Asia after Thailand with a per capita production of 338kg due to fertile soil in deltas such as the Mekong Delta. Vietnam's export of rice is experiencing growth for the last 17 years in the 1989-2005 period . In 2005, Vietnam's export of rice reached an all time high, with an export volume of 5170 thousand metric tones, in adjacent with higher world market prices for rice driving the total export value to USD 1.28 billion. The rise of export and the price of rice are mainly because of higher yields as well as usage of chemical fertilizers...