Program orientation: Sustainable Development 
The World Commission on Environment and Development drew attention to the common challenges of population growth, the need for strategies for sustaining food security and the need to conserve natural resources. Agenda 21, the plan of action for implementing sustainable development elaborated further. It states :
"Major adjustments are needed in agricultural, environmental and macroeconomic policy, at both national and international levels, in developed as well as developing countries, to create the conditions for sustainable agriculture and rural development. The major objective of sustainable agriculture and rural development is to increase food production in a sustainable way and enhance food security. This will involve education initiatives, utilization of economic incentives and the development of appropriate and new technologies, thus ensuring stable supplies of nutritionally adequate food, access to those supplies by vulnerable groups, and production for markets; employment and income generation to alleviate poverty; and natural resource management and environmental protection." (Agenda 21, 1992).
Definitions of sustainable agriculture are generally concerned with the need for agricultural practices to be economically viable, to meet human needs for food, to be environmentally positive, and to be concerned with quality of life. Since these objectives can be achieved in a number of different ways, sustainable agriculture is not linked to any particular technological practice. Nor is sustainable agriculture the exclusive domain of organic farming. Rather, sustainable agriculture is thought of in terms of its adaptability and flexibility over time to respond to the demands for food and fiber (both high and low), its demands on natural resources for production, and its ability to protect the soil and the resources. This goal requires an efficient use of technology in a manner conducive to sustainability. Finally, because agriculture is affected by changes in market and resource decisions in other sectors and regions, it is important that these changes do not provide a rationale for depleting the agricultural resource base locally. (Wilson and Tyrchniewicz. Agriculture and sustainable development: policy analysis on the Great Plains. 1995)
Agriculture and Aquaculture will remain a major contributor to the economies of several developing countries such as Vietnam, particularly in the Mekong Delta regions. However, its share of the GDP will progressively decline. The agricultural and aquacultural sector is undergoing rapid changes as a consequence of both technological progress and economic forces which call for an increased market focus, competitiveness and higher productivity.
Employment opportunities in the off-farm sector are expected to increase at a faster rate than in agriculture and aquaculture. This will further emphasize the present employment shift of agricultural/aquacultural graduates to related sectors, requiring a revision of existing curricula to better address educational needs. Furthermore, agricultural /aquacultural education curricula need to be redirected to more specifically address national and regional (local) problems. This reorientation should incorporate both the new role of market-oriented agriculture/aquaculture as well as issues of direct relevance to the improvement of subsistence agriculture/aquaculture and rural poverty.
The challenge from now is to move:
• From immediate needs to long-term sustainability;
• From disciplinary to interdisciplinary teaching and practices;
• From agricultural colleges to colleges for rural development.