Science and technology key factor in building new-style rural areas

October 04, 2022 - 13:00
Science and technology create new vitality for rural areas, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Lê Minh Hoan has said.
A farmer in the central province of Hà Tĩnh uses a smartphone to monitor the watering system at her farm. Photo

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HÀ NỘI - Science and technology create new vitality for rural areas, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Lê Minh Hoan has said.

Speaking at a conference reviewing the Science and Technology Programme for New Rural Development in the 2016-2021 period and plans for the next five years, Hoan said on Monday that agricultural land could be narrowed as more land and resources would be used for other industrial and infrastructure projects.

“The productivity of agricultural areas will eventually reach its limit. If it is not possible to increase productivity and output, there is no other way but to increase the value of agricultural products,” he said.

To promote the implementation of the National Target Programme on Building New-style Rural Areas, the Prime Minister approved the Science and Technology Programme in early 2017.

The programme is implemented continuously with the first phase starting from 2016 to 2020 and the second phase from 2021 to 2025.

Under the programme’s second phase, 84 science and technology tasks were identified to serve the National Target Programme on Building New-style Rural Areas in five major content groups with a total implementation cost of nearly VNĐ586 billion.

Science and technology played a crucial role in agricultural production and new rural area construction, Hoan said, emphasising that the science and technology programme must go in line with Central Party Committee's resolution No. 19-NQ/TW, dated June 16, 2022 on agriculture, farmers and rural areas to 2030 with a vision to 2045 to transform agricultural production thinking into agricultural economic thinking.

“Each scientific research project for the construction of new rural areas not only focuses on technical factors, but also needs to increase the content of knowledge along with agricultural economic factors and market factors to optimise the value of agricultural products and reduce production costs,” Hoan said.

"Scientists not only transferred science and technology models to farmers, but also opportunities to help farmers improve their knowledge, increase productivity, and create new momentum for agriculture and rural areas."

The science and technology programme helped tighten the connection of resources between the sciences, theory and practice, and research and transfer to meet the requirements of the development of new-style rural areas, Hoan said.

Prof. Dr. Nguyễn Tuấn Anh, Programme Manager, said the programme contributed to promoting the development of commodity agriculture, connected and modern agriculture, and ecological and sustainable agriculture.

He said it also helped boost supporting industries for agriculture; economic restructuring, and rural labour.

The programme created many practical scientific products, many models of transfer and application of technical and technological advances to agricultural production, he said.

Over the last five years, under the programme, 97 production processes and technologies were transferred, and 208 effective demonstration models were conducted.

“In cultivation, the programme generated results that helped increase crop productivity by 30-35 per cent for vegetables, 10-15 per cent for rice, and increased the income of participants by over 25 per cent,” he said.

Thanks to the restructuring of farming in production linkage models, the value of agricultural land use reached VNĐ133-500 million per ha per year, Prof. Dr. Tuấn Anh said.

In animal husbandry, high-yield and high-quality breeds were used widely, including pigs, chickens and geese.

In addition, typical factors that increased economic efficiency with different levels contributed to total additional productivity, such as changing crop structure contributed 12.1 per cent; integrated disease management (IPM) 15 per cent; irrigation 35-40 per cent; new plant varieties 25-30 per cent; new livestock breeds contributed 16.8 per cent; while fertilisers and other technical measures contributed 25-30 per cent.

Vũ Thị Vân Phượng, representative of VietRAP Investment and Trade Joint Stock Company, said that from scientific research, the company organised links with people in many northern mountainous regions to apply and effectively use resources under the forest canopy.

Science and technology were applied to ensure rational cultivation of medicinal plants that are used to make commodities with higher economic values, she said. VNS