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A boost for sugarcane sector development

VGP – PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc has recently issued Directive 28/CT-TTg on measures to develop the sugarcane sector in a new period.

July 15, 2020 7:58 PM GMT+7

Illustration photo

Viet Nam has pursued the 1-million ton sugar program over the past 25 years. The sugarcane sector generated jobs for over 35,000 farm households, contributing to socio-economic development and poverty reduction especially in far-reaching and remote areas. 

However, the target remains out of reach, while Viet Nam expects to import one million tons of sugar by 2020. 

PM Phuc has assigned the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to work with relevant units, agencies, and localities to allocate more expenditure to research new sugarcane varieties; boost machinery application in sugarcane cultivation areas; and diversify sugarcane products and wastes. 

New regulations and technical regulations on plant protection substances, product quality, food safety will be reviewed and supplemented. 

Local authorities were asked to build concentrated sugarcane production regions; develop collectives in combination with sugar production plants. 

The Ministry of Industry and Trade was requested to actively apply trade remedies for imported sugarcane products in line with Viet Nam’s international commitments and prevent illegal trading of sugar business. 

The Ministry of Finance was urged to cooperate with customs forces, relevant ministries, and localities to disclose illegal trafficking of sugarcane products. 

The National Steering Committee for Combating Smuggling, Commercial Fraud and Counterfeit Goods (National Steering 389) was assigned to strengthen preventive measures against illegal trafficking.

According to a report from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the sector is facing multiple difficulties, with many firms reporting losses.

Sugarcane prices have fallen by VND100,000-VND200,000 to VND700,000-VND800,000 per ton. Seven sugar plants suspended their operations.

As the ASEAN Trade in Goods Agreement (ATIGA) has lowered the tax rates for sugar imports from ASEAN markets to only 0%-5% since January 1 and many countries worldwide provide subsidies for their products, the prices of sugar imports to Viet Nam are low.

In addition, trade fraud, unreasonable policies and the ineffective application of science and technology in sugar production pose hindrances to the sector’s development./.  

By Kim Anh