Bình Phước agriculture sees great potential in digital transformation

February 24, 2024 - 18:13

The province has conducted pilot programmes for comprehensive digital transformation at 20 communes and two businesses and cooperatives, alongside the application of production unit code on 19 locations across 1,997ha. 

Farmers harvest cashew nuts in Bù Gia Mập District of the southern Bình Phước Province. — VNA/VNS Photo K Gửi H

BÌNH PHƯỚC — Situated in the southern key economic zone with agriculture as the key sector, Bình Phước Province has been focusing on digital transformation to boost productivity, profits and production efficiency. 

These changes help local farmers connect with trade and processing companies as well as consumers around the world, while also improving the sector’s management and operations. 

The province has conducted pilot programmes for comprehensive digital transformation at 20 communes and two businesses and cooperatives, alongside the application of production unit codes (PUCs) at 19 locations across 1,997ha. 

Bình Phước now counts 48 PUCs for its key crop on nearly 4,000ha in total, of which 38 PUCs are for durian cultivation. It is expected that 33 new PUCs will be issued at the beginning of 2024. 

Đặng Dương Minh Hoàng, a local resident of Bù Gia Mập District, and his fellow farmers established the Bình Phước Digital Agricultural Service Cooperative in March 2021. 

The cooperative has been using AutoAgri, a digital platform that helps manage and connect agricultural value chains, for their operational activities such as monitoring and origin tracing. 

A digitalisation pilot programme was also deployed on more than 1,400 cashew processing facilities. 

Meanwhile, multiple memorandums of understanding (MOUs) were signed between the cooperative and the provincial farmers’ association, cooperative alliance, trade and industry department, and the trade, investment and tourism promotion, which aim to assist households and local businesses with the digitalisation process, increase the value of agricultural production chains and build sustainable brands. 

Consumers now show great interest in clean diets and tend to seek out this type of food product, Hoàng said. 

Therefore, if companies do not apply technology in their organic agricultural production, they will miss out on the chance to connect with consumers, build trust for their products, and establish and protect their brand names, he added. 

According to Hoàng, if businesses want to reduce costs and intermediaries while increasing production transparency, digital transformation is vital. 

Hoàng Khánh Hòa, operations manager of Bà Tư Bình Phước cashew brand (under Gia Bảo JSC), said the business has maximised science-technology advancements in its production.

From the planting process, the brand has used a software system for monitoring and supervision to evaluate the yield quantity and quality. This helps control production losses and ensure a stable raw material input. 

Bà Tư Bình Phước cashew nuts are currently sold in major supermarkets in the country such as BigC, AEON and Satra, as well as in multiple foreign markets including Japan, Australia, South Korea and China. 

“Digital transformation is still quite a new concept for farmers when we work directly with them. Therefore, our company simplifies and applies technology in data collection and compiling output data, and shares the information with farmers. 

“This provides them indirect access to digital transformation,” said Hòa. 

The brand aims to expand its foreign markets in the future, and sees digital transformation as necessary in allowing customers to trace the product origin and understand what they are consuming, she added.

Many of Bình Phước’s agricultural products are given three or four-star OCOP (One Commune One Product) certification. 

The province also helps many local households put their products on e-commerce platforms.

Its goal is that by 2025, around 25 per cent of farms and businesses with 5 to 7 products will have undergone digital transformation.

This figure must be 100 per cent for OCOP products in communes and towns piloted for digital transformation.

In addition to awareness campaigns and technology application in agricultural production, local authorities also organise digitalisation training, build a virtual agricultural database and increase the use of internet in the production process, which is applied for real-time sensor data collection and automatic data analysis. 

At the same time, the province develops specialised software for agriculture, assists technology solution providers, and acts as the point of connection for other stakeholders in the sector in the digital transformation process. — VNS