Workers process bananas for export at Xanh Việt Export Import Company Limited in the southern province of An Giang. — VNA/VNS Photo Vũ Sinh
HCM CITY —The HCM City Farmers Association and Investment and Trade Promotion Centre met on Tuesday to seek ways to apply high-tech to the city’s key agricultural products, with the aim of becoming a southern hub for the supply of crop and animal strains.
This year’s key agricultural products are vegetables, flowers, ornamental trees, pigs, dairy cows, brackish-water shrimp and ornamental fish.
Nguyễn Văn Tủi, of the Farmers Association, said that only about 800ha out of more than 3,300ha of the city’s agricultural land uses hi-tech methods that meet Vietnamese good agricultural practice (VietGAP) standards. The small scale of farms and lack of funds have been barriers to application.
Many farmers in the city produce agricultural products on less than one hectare of land on plots scattered around the city. Tủi said the city should arrange for large-scale farms.
Another barrier to high-tech use includes initial investment costs and the time needed for farmers to break even. Investment of VNĐ500 million (about US$22,000) per hectare is needed for vegetables and flowers. And it takes five to 10 years to break even, according to Tủi.
“The city should focus on research and bio-technology to increase productivity and improve the quality of crop seeds and animal breeds,” he said.
The city also should encourage farming households to become members of co-operatives to ensure that production will follow clear planning and have high quality and productivity
“The city must also provide farmers with better information and predict harvest volumes, as well as supply and demand for each key agricultural crop,” he said.
The agricultural sector this year aims to maintain 6 per cent growth as part of Gross Regional Domestic Product (GRDP), while average production value per hectare of agricultural land is expected to rise to VNĐ550million (US$23,710) from VNĐ502million ($21,640) last year. VNS