May 23, 2023 | 07:00:00 GMT+7 | Weather 26°
Follow us:
70th anniversary of Hanoi's Liberation Day Vietnam - Asia 2023 Smart City Summit Hanoi celebrates 15 years of administrative boundary adjustment 12th Vietnam-France decentrialized cooperation conference 31st Sea Games - Vietnam 2021 Covid-19 Pandemic
Aug 09, 2012 / 09:15

Minister promotes hi-tech farming

Vietnam's agriculture sector should shift from being supply-driven to being demand-driven, which would help modernise the sector and add value to agricultural products, experts said at a policy forum yesterday.Speaking at the forum o­n discussing the application of hi-tech equipment and techniques in agriculture and rural development, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Planning Cao Duc Phat said the sector had not done well in applying advanced technology despite the Government's approval of a project to boost technology in rural areas during the 2010-20 period."Application of advanced technology in agriculture plays a critical role in our efforts to restructure the sector toward more sustainable development," he said. "However, we think that the process has been slow."More than 25 years after the launch of the renewal process, Vietnam's agriculture has been suffering from low competitiveness, even when compared with poorer regional countries, despite Vietnam being o­ne of the world's leading exporters of rice and coffee.The GDP growth rate in agriculture slid from 4 per cent annually in 1995-2000 to 3.83 per cent in 2001-05, and 3.3 per cent in 2006-2010. The application of technology in processing and storing has been limited, causing Vietnam to mostly export raw materials.Very few agricultural product brand names are associated with Vietnam while also being recognised globally.In addition, there are problems of constant adverse weather effects, outbreaks of diseases and the impacts of climate change.Nguyen Van Bo, head of the Vietnam Academy of Agriculture Science, said a high-tech agriculture sector means applying not just o­ne, but various types of technology - such as automation, new mechanisms, biology, modern management systems - that could better take advantage of the country's natural resources and weather conditions.The target for a high-tech agriculture sector is to yield products that result from quality scientific research, eat up less materials and meet the consumers' diverse demands in types, time (out of season) and quality.According to Bo, businesses play a central role in connecting other stake-holders in the sector: government authorities, farmers and scientists to enhance the application of technology.Currently, even for Vietnam's exported agricultural products, research has shown that all of the profits come from production phases that occur outside the country, which means less benefits to local growers."The price you pay for drinking a made-in-Vietnam cup of coffee is inevitably higher than the price for 1kg of raw coffee," he said. "That's something to think about. Why can Thailand export our blue dragon fruit to Europe at a lower price than us?"Bo said China estimated that application of science and technology contributed 51 per cent of the country's value-added growth in agriculture in 2009.In Vietnam, work o­n ensuring advanced technology in agriculture has been mostly policy-driven, which did not derive from o­n-the-ground conditions, he said. Efforts must also be made to build regional hi-tech agriculture centres that can take advantage of favourable products from that particular region.Conference participants also heard about agriculture in Israel, a country with o­nly a little more than 20,000km2 that suffered from desertification and other extreme weather conditions, but still managed to export fruit and vegetables worth of US$2.1 billion in 2010.Only 2.5 per cent of Israel's population actually works in agriculture.Vietnam, with more than 70 percent of its population working in agriculture, has been plagued by outdated technologies and facilities. Even in fruitful seasons, farmers still suffer from low prices and pressure from traders.Meanwhile, most businesses consider investing in technology for agriculture as risky. Nguyen Tan Hinh, deputy head of MARD's Department of Science, Technology and Environment, said that a national project planned to build hi-tech agriculture zones, offering tax incentives, land policies for businesses and supplementary funding, along with support in getting equipment for scientific research.Vietnam spent VND2.6 trillion (US$125 million) between 2005-2011 o­n scientific research in agriculture and application of the latest technologies.During the period, there 4,300 scientific studies were carried out o­n boosting production, including work o­n cultivating more disease resistant and productive crops.

The Hanoitimes - Vietnam's agriculture sector should shift from being supply-driven to being demand-driven, which would help modernise the sector and add value to agricultural products, experts said at a policy forum yesterday.


Speaking at the forum o­n discussing the application of hi-tech equipment and techniques in agriculture and rural development, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Planning Cao Duc Phat said the sector had not done well in applying advanced technology despite the Government's approval of a project to boost technology in rural areas during the 2010-20 period.

"Application of advanced technology in agriculture plays a critical role in our efforts to restructure the sector toward more sustainable development," he said. "However, we think that the process has been slow."

More than 25 years after the launch of the renewal process, Vietnam's agriculture has been suffering from low competitiveness, even when compared with poorer regional countries, despite Vietnam being o­ne of the world's leading exporters of rice and coffee.

The GDP growth rate in agriculture slid from 4 per cent annually in 1995-2000 to 3.83 per cent in 2001-05, and 3.3 per cent in 2006-2010. The application of technology in processing and storing has been limited, causing Vietnam to mostly export raw materials.

Very few agricultural product brand names are associated with Vietnam while also being recognised globally.

In addition, there are problems of constant adverse weather effects, outbreaks of diseases and the impacts of climate change.

Nguyen Van Bo, head of the Vietnam Academy of Agriculture Science, said a high-tech agriculture sector means applying not just o­ne, but various types of technology - such as automation, new mechanisms, biology, modern management systems - that could better take advantage of the country's natural resources and weather conditions.

The target for a high-tech agriculture sector is to yield products that result from quality scientific research, eat up less materials and meet the consumers' diverse demands in types, time (out of season) and quality.

According to Bo, businesses play a central role in connecting other stake-holders in the sector: government authorities, farmers and scientists to enhance the application of technology.

Currently, even for Vietnam's exported agricultural products, research has shown that all of the profits come from production phases that occur outside the country, which means less benefits to local growers.

"The price you pay for drinking a made-in-Vietnam cup of coffee is inevitably higher than the price for 1kg of raw coffee," he said. "That's something to think about. Why can Thailand export our blue dragon fruit to Europe at a lower price than us?"

Bo said China estimated that application of science and technology contributed 51 per cent of the country's value-added growth in agriculture in 2009.

In Vietnam, work o­n ensuring advanced technology in agriculture has been mostly policy-driven, which did not derive from o­n-the-ground conditions, he said. Efforts must also be made to build regional hi-tech agriculture centres that can take advantage of favourable products from that particular region.

Conference participants also heard about agriculture in Israel, a country with o­nly a little more than 20,000km2 that suffered from desertification and other extreme weather conditions, but still managed to export fruit and vegetables worth of US$2.1 billion in 2010.

Only 2.5 per cent of Israel's population actually works in agriculture.

Vietnam, with more than 70 percent of its population working in agriculture, has been plagued by outdated technologies and facilities. Even in fruitful seasons, farmers still suffer from low prices and pressure from traders.

Meanwhile, most businesses consider investing in technology for agriculture as risky. Nguyen Tan Hinh, deputy head of MARD's Department of Science, Technology and Environment, said that a national project planned to build hi-tech agriculture zones, offering tax incentives, land policies for businesses and supplementary funding, along with support in getting equipment for scientific research.

Vietnam spent VND2.6 trillion (US$125 million) between 2005-2011 o­n scientific research in agriculture and application of the latest technologies.

During the period, there 4,300 scientific studies were carried out o­n boosting production, including work o­n cultivating more disease resistant and productive crops.