The Hanoitimes - The development of smart agriculture has brought new opportunities, while setting up new challenges for current supply chain.
"High-tech agriculture is an irreversible trend which should be encouraged. Otherwise, Vietnam agricultural products may risk losing right at its home ground," told Vu Manh Hung, Vice Chairman of Digital Agriculture Association, to local media.
By the end of October 2017, Vietnam has 13.8 million farmer households and 78 million fragmented fields, which in turn raises the necessity of agricultural restructuring, informed the Vietnam Farmers' Forum last October. Consequently, one of the proposed measure would be the application of technologies for agricultural development.
Applying Internet of Things (IoT) in agriculture is identified as the process of digitalizing agricultural production including processing and consumption through sensor systems, data management and automatic farming. Through IoT, farmers can now control the changes in farming activities through time and space, so that they are able to make a right decision.
As at the beginning of 2018, Vietnam has around 64 million internet users, accounting for 67% of total population, according to the General Statistics Office. The advancement of technologies along with the government's support in agricultural restructuring have brought preliminary successes in the application of IoT in agriculture.
For example, iQShrimp - a digital software developed by Cargill. The software captures data from shrimp ponds through mobile devices, sensors and automated feeders to record data about shrimp size, water quality, feeding patterns, and health and weather conditions. IQShrip then provides insights and recommendations, such as feeding management strategies and optimal harvest dates.
Cargill has established two shrimp focused Technology Application Center in Bac Lieu and Tien Giang. The center is designed to help aquaculture farmers access the latest innovations and apply the best possible solutions to grow healthy seafood and increase their profits.
Another software is Smart Agri of Global CyberSoft, which has been applied in Vietnam since 2015. Users can monitor the status of production, adjust environment, control production devices thanks to the functionality of remote real-time data collection.
Currently, Vietnam has 3 high-tech agricultural zones in Hau Giang, Phu Yen and Bac Lieu, thanks to the government's effort. The State bank of Vietnam (SBV) along with commercial banks also offered a financial package of VND100 trillion (US$4.37 billion) to support enterprises applying high-tech farming.
Expert concluded that the application of IoT would contribute significantly to the development of Vietnam high-tech agriculture, especially with regard to productivity and transparency in production chain.
The GDP growth rate of the agriculture sector rose by 4.05% in the first quarter of this year, the highest level in the past 13 years, said the Ministry of Agricultural & Rural Development (MARD).
MARD set target for the sector's GDP growth and export turnover of 3.05% and US$40.5 billion in 2018.