Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI – Applying advanced technologies would be a breakthrough-solution for successful restructuring of agricultural production, Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Nguyễn Xuân Cường said on Tuesday.
“High-tech applications will not just facilitate sustainable development of agricultural production, it will also help the sector adapt to climate change and increase its competitiveness during a time of international integration,” the minister told the review conference that also collected opinions on the restructuring process.
Over the last three years of agricultural restructuring, the sector has achieved a high growth rate of 2.83 per cent and an export turnover of US$120.7 billion, with last year alone accounting for about $32.1 billion. Cường said the scientific community had contributed to this process.
In the last three years, scientists created 149 new animal breeds and plant varieties and introduced 65 hi-tech production models as well as many other technological solutions helping renovate the production process, he said.
This year, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) will focus on developing three key product segments: national-brand products with export turnover of US$1 billion each, provincial-level key products, and special products from specific regions.
“To realize this plan, specific production regions should be formed with active participation of businesses with the financial capacity to apply hi-tech solutions,” the minister said.
Scientists attending the conference stressed the importance of improving the quality of animal breeds and plant varieties to achieve sustainable agriculture production, add value to products and increase local competitiveness.
Prof. Trần Đình Long, Chairman of the Vietnam Plant Varieties Association, said: “We are proud of having 12 export items that rank first and second in the world. But their (relative) economic value is still low. Hence Việt Nam’s agriculture was just known as hired agriculture”, Long said.
The country has hundreds of rice varieties, but there is no national-brand variety so far, he said.
Long said scientific studies in agricultural production were still dependent on the State Budget, so the ministry should try to take full advantage of the private sector to develop technological application.
Agreeing with Long, Prof. Trần Duy Quý said, “the ministry should ask scientists to create high-yield and quality rice varieties so as to ensure food security and meet export demand.”
Other participants suggested that the ministry reviews the current situation of hi-tech application, compared to other countries in the region and the world and draws up suitable roadmaps for specific products.
Prof. Vũ Trọng Hồng of the Việt Nam’s Irrigation Association said that for successfully restructuring the sector, the ministry should give priority to areas less affected by natural calamities for developing hi-tech agricultural production.
Since agricultural production cannot happen without irrigation, each agriculture project should include irrigation plans so as to achieve the highest possible economic values, Hồng said.
Participants agreed that detailed policies and projects were needed to reorganise more than 13 million farming households to shift towards hi-tech production of agricultural commodities.--VNS