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Farmers reap benefits from innovations

Update: October, 25/2014 - 08:54
Scientists conduct research at the Ho Chi Minh Bio-technology Centre in HCM City. New agricultural seedlings as well as machinery and technologies developed by institutes, enterprises and farmers over the past years have helped Vietnamese farmers reduce production costs. — VNA/VNS Photo Manh Linh
HCM CITY (VNS)— New agricultural seedlings as well as machinery and technologies developed by institutes, universities, enterprises and farmers over the past years have helped Vietnamese farmers reduce production costs, but more needs to be done, heard a seminar held in HCM City this week.

From 2006 to 2013, the Institute of Agricultural Sciences for Southern Viet Nam had produced quality seedlings for rice, maize, cassava, sugarcane, cashew, soya bean, tomato, flowers and others, according to Ngo Quang Vinh, the institute's deputy director.

The institute has also transferred high-yield cassava seedlings to farmers in many provinces, including Tay Ninh, Binh Phuoc and Binh Thuan.

Up to 90 per cent out of 300,000ha of the country's total cassava cultivation area are using cassava strains provided by the institute.

"We are preparing to launch new seedlings that can resist diseases and offer higher yields," Vinh told delegates at the seminar, which was organised by the National Agriculture Extension Centre.

The institute has also provided high-yield cashew strains to farmers in many provinces, mainly in Binh Phuoc and Lam Dong, he said.

However, seedling production cannot meet demand.

Huynh Van Nghiep, deputy director of the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta Rice Research Institute, said rice seedlings developed by the institute were also used in Laos, Cambodia, Indonesia, Brunei, South Asia and Africa.

The institute each year provides hundreds of certified seedlings to localities, contributing to increase the area of rice fields using certified seeds from under 10 per cent in 1999 to more than 34 per cent currently in the Mekong Delta, according to Nghiep.

In addition, his institute has conducted research to develop technology and farming methods that can increase rice productivity and quality in different ecological systems in the Mekong Delta region.

Phan Huy Thong, director of the National Agriculture Extension Centre, praised the efforts of institutes, universities, enterprises and farmers for their work in developing seedlings, technologies and machinery.

However, many local companies remain unaware of these technologies as marketing has been weak, according to Thong.

As a result, they import technologies rather than use similar products made in Viet Nam.

He called on researchers and businesses to develop closer linkages to improve the situation.

Nguyen Van Minh, general secretary of Viet Nam Agricultural Enterprise and Farm Association suggested that institutes and schools focus more on research to improve post-harvest and processing technologies to help reduce production costs and improve product quality.

Technology to process by-products should also be created to raise farmers' income, they said.

Duong Minh Hoang, director of the Soc Trang Province Agricultural Extension Centre, told Viet Nam News: "I'm interested in new innovations in seedlings and machinery to mechanise agricultural production. The province will check to see which technologies are suitable to transfer to local farmers." — VNS


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