While agriculture used to be the most important sector in Vietnam, the industry is sadly fading away at the hand of large factories. Nonetheless, agriculture continues to employ over half of the population of the country, and is the sole source for the country’s raw materials and accounts for the majority of Vietnam’s exports.
Throughout the 1970’s, the country suffered from severe shortage of rice productions; however, their economy noticed a major boost when the commodity’s growth picked back up in the late 1980’s. To date, rice is principally the most vital crop to the stability of Vietnamese economy and agricultural industry. In fact, as the staple of the Vietnamese diet, it occupies 94% of the agricultural land in the country. Cultivation varies throughout the country, but primarily covers large areas of the country’s lowlands. Single-cropping is the status quo for much of the agricultural productions throughout the country, due to the fact that heavy rainfalls occupy the south for half the year, while the other half of the year sees little to no moisture at all. The most prosperous terrains for agriculture exist within the Red River delta, and the Mekong River delta. Although other land areas have been use towards agricultural efforts, they have proved to be inefficient and produce low productivity. The southern regions are helpful in areas of transport and irrigational systems due to their strong canal networks.
Aside from rice, Vietnam also grows a wide variety of other major crops, most of which are staple foods to the civilian’s diets. Agriculturalists are known for their growth of sugarcane, cassava, corn, sweet potatoes, and nuts. Additionally, due to the country’s lack of wealth and technology, much of the agricultural work is incredibly labor-intensive. For instance, water buffalo are still responsible for much of the plowing, and the people are forced to pick their produce and crops by hand rather than by machinery like first world industries.