Digital transformation of agriculture still faces challenges

November 11, 2022 - 07:36
Đào Thị Như Hè proposed the authorities implement support measures so that farmers could have conditions to access advanced technology.


Sài Gòn Kim Hồng's drone, worth VNĐ450-530 million each, can help farmers avoid much farming work but still unaffordable to most farmers. — Photo courtesy of the firm

HÀ NỘI — Though digital transformation in agriculture is set to deal with production 'black holes', it has not yet met the requirements from traceability, selling on e-commerce or using drones in production.

Nguyễn Văn Bá, director of An Phú Thuận Organic Agriculture Cooperative in southern Đồng Tháp Province, said: "The biggest problem is that farmers have to spend money on technologies which are all new and difficult to access."

A distributor of agricultural drones for spraying pesticides, Đào Thị Như Hè, director of Sài Gòn Kim Hồng Company, said: "Digital transformation will be a challenge for the agricultural industry in the coming time." 

Hè has spent three years piloting Kim Hồng's drone, which is worth VNĐ450-530 million each. However, she believes the price makes it difficult for farmers to access the technology without support. 

She shared that the State has a policy to support 50 per cent of the first crop and no support for the next crop.

She proposed the authorities implement support measures so that farmers could have conditions to access advanced technologies.

Nguyễn Thị Thanh Thực, chairman of Bagico Investment Joint Stock Company, said the digital transformation in China was strongly invested in, unlike in Việt Nam.

She said many firms and agencies do not fully understand the importance of providing sellers' information on digital platforms to make transactions transparent, adding they have not yet taken measures to immediately apply digital conversion for growing area codes and export factory codes when they export to China.

Từ Minh Thiện, rector of Văn Hiến University and former deputy manager of HCM City High-tech Agriculture Management Board, said that Việt Nam's potential for high-tech applications in agriculture was huge. Still, so far, limited number of applications are used in increasing crop and livestock productivity, improving the safety and traceability of agricultural products.

Thiện said applications for supply chain management and access to financial services, risk management, land management, improvement of the system of supporting small-scale farmers were almost impossible to implement.

Thiện said the smart agriculture development orientation was visible in all parts of the world, adding: "Accessing technology is not difficult. It is important to apply technology effectively."

Director of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development's Department of Processing and Market Development Nguyễn Quốc Toản said in the continuous and positive growth of the agricultural sector, export turnover was likely to reach $52-54 billion. 

"However, we also face the trend of changing consumption habits and strong regional competition. Therefore without the right tools, it is very difficult to develop."

Toản mentioned the lack of product ecosystems, information, market evaluation database, and connection as challenges.

The ministry is directing its farming and livestock departments to build databases for their planting and farming, as if they have no identifiable products and were not traceable. It will be nearly impossible to bring goods to cyberspace.

Toản added: "Statistics show that currently, only about 500 Vietnamese businesses are doing business on the Alibaba platform. Next year, we strive to have about 1,000 businesses. However, what is more important is the skill of putting goods online for the agriculture cooperatives."

Toản noted a problem as the abundance of software available, as it leads to confusion.  

He hopes the Việt Nam Digital Agriculture Association will connect with more local departments of agriculture, to support farmers. — VNS