|A cow farm in Ba Vi District, Ha Noi. — Photo danviet.vn
Dr. Nguyen Dang Nghia, director of the Tropical Agricultural Research and Consultancy Centre, spoke to Nong thon Ngay nay (Countryside Today) about the role of good consultants
In your opinion, what is the current status of agricultural consultancy services in Viet Nam?
I would say the demand for agricultural consultancy services in Viet Nam is huge. Every day, I receive dozens of phone calls from farmers asking me how to select the most suitable and beneficial plants to grow in their fields.
In addition, I also receive phone calls from Vietnamese enterprises asking me to offer them consultancy in agricultural development.
Meanwhile, many foreign companies and organisations have expressed an interest in investing in agricultural development in Viet Nam.
This was the driving force for me to establish the Tropical Agricultural Research and Consultancy Centre in HCM City in mid-September. The centre's key objective is to provide training and consultancy for domestic and foreign agricultural firms and to carry out trial production programmes.
In reality, quite a few international organisations or Vietnamese institutes, departments and universities have offered their agricultural consultancy services. What do you think about the quality of their consultancy activities?
What I'm concerned about is their service quality and efficiency. I'm sorry to say that most of Vietnamese organisations offering this type of service have not done the job properly, due to a lack of information and funding. As a result, farmers or agricultural enterprises have not gotten what they wanted. The key objectives of foreign consultancy organisations are to sell their products, including their services.
A mandate of our centre is to sign up local and international agricultural scientists to conduct research and create technology to help farmers and agricultural enterprises to gain bumper crops.
I'm confident that farmers and enterprises are willing to pay for the information they want. The question now is whether the few centres in Viet Nam that offer this service can provide them with what they want. In other words, there remains a disparity between demand and supply.
What does a good agricultural research and consultancy centre need to have?
When you offer a service, your service must be of high quality and efficiency. This is good for both the centre and the clients. In reality, quite a few centres have been established, but their lives are very short, due to poor services. That's why a pivotal element for the sustainability of their services is quality. They must have good experts with rich experiences and broad knowledge on their expertise.
Another important factor is that the centre must have a workable and transparent mechanism. Customers' satisfaction should be the rule of law for the centre to operate and develop. — VNS