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Sci-technology vital for agriculture

Update: September, 04/2013 - 09:08
National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung yesterday declared the necessity of boosting the development and application of science and technology in agricultural production to raise the value of the country's produce.— Photo mof.gov.vn

HA NOI (VNS)— National Assembly Chairman Nguyen Sinh Hung yesterday declared the necessity of boosting the development and application of science and technology in agricultural production to raise the value of the country's produce.

Hung, who has long supported technological advancement in the sector, was speaking at a conference on the subject attended by relevant ministers and over 150 leading experts.

He stated that science and technology have not been effectively utilised to develop agriculture in rural areas, and called on the participants to identify measures to end the shortcomings.

Nguyen Van Bo, director of the Viet Nam Agriculture Science Institute said there was a serious lack of scientists with agricultural expertise.

He argued that it was necessary to create favourable conditions for scientists to dedicate their careers to a specific area of research, rather than having them change every five years or so.

Each scientific or research centre should employ and finance about 20 experts in different areas of study and support them to realise their ideas, he said, adding that these institutes should be given the freedom to allocate finances and recruit well-qualified scientists as they saw fit.

Dang Kim Son, director of the Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development (Ipsard) agreed with Bo and said State-owned science centres had yet to be granted the right to decide their own staff, financial resources and research topics, leading to the failure in attracting scientists to aid the agricultural sector.

Nguyen Xuan Dung, chairman of the National Assembly Committee for Science, Technology and Environment said the delay in applying solid technological theory to agricultural production had lessened its effect.

Son called on leaders to do more to encourage economic sectors to participate in science and technology research and attract young people to work in rural areas.

Dung agreed and said labourers in agricultural sector receive lower wages than others – often as little as VND 50,000 (US$2.3) per day, lowering the attraction of work in this field.

Hung said it was necessary to apply science and technology to all agricultural production processes and form close relations between researchers, enterprises and farmers.

However, it was not all doom and gloom and experts did acknowledge that technological advancements had reinvigorated cultivation, formed new breeds and seeds of crops and improved post-harvest processing techniques.

Last year the agriculture sector earned more than $27 billion, equivalent to one-fifth of the export turnover. — VNS

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