BINH DINH (VNS)— Hi-tech enterprises can be a driving force to speed up sustainable socio-economic development in mountainous rural areas, said Minister of Science and Technology Nguyen Quan.
Ten years ago, Viet Nam started a programme to boost technology transfer and application in mountainous rural areas. This helped drastically improve the localities' growth and residents' livelihoods, Quan told a meeting in central Binh Dinh Province.
In the last two years alone, nearly 280 projects have been carried out under the programme, providing technology transfer and training courses to technicians and farmers and designing models to apply technology to production.
As a result, over 960 advanced technologies were applied to agricultural production and over 2,500 local technicians underwent training - who then went on to instruct over 61,000 farmers.
The programme also helped establish 60 small and medium-sized enterprises and upgrade the technology used by more than 120 others.
However, the science and technology minister said, only about half of the proposed projects were approved - meaning that mountainous areas still needed significant technological aid.
He also noted that more funding was needed. About VND1.3 trillion (US$62.5 million) was approved for the programme during 2011-15, but an additional VND300 billion ($14.4 million) was required.
Tran Thi Thu Ha, deputy chairwoman of central Binh Dinh Province's People's Committee, said that the programme had helped the province develop more productive varieties of rice, sugar cane and poultry which were better at adapting to local weather and conditions.
She said that close co-operation between the State, donors, scientific institutes, enterprises and farmers played a vital role in the programme.
Science and technology research centres helped with technology transfer and expanding production, while enterprises helped boost technology application and market access.
Thieu Van Huy, a local farmer, said that his family had seen higher sugar cane yields thanks to the programme, which also taught him farming skills in classes held right in the field.
"Seeing that applying science and new technology can increase production, many other households are also excited about using the skills they learn," he said. — VNS