A farmer tends to melons in a greenhouse in Mỹ Hoà District in the Mekong Delta Province of An Giang. Việt Nam and the Netherlands have tightened co-operation in promoting technology in the horticultural industry. VNA/VNS Photo Vũ Sinh
HCM CITY — Việt Nam aims to develop its horticultural industry by learning from the Netherlands’ innovative horticultural techniques and its expertise, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Speaking at a conference on “HortiFuture Vietnam” held in HCM City on Thursday, Deputy Minister Lê Quốc Doanh said that agriculture was an important economic sector for the country, with seven agricultural products having export revenue worth over US$1 billion each annually.
In particular, the export of rice, cashew nuts, coffee, and fruits and vegetables reached over $3 billion each a year. However, despite rapid growth and a positive outlook, there were challenges resulting from the lack of export market diversification and high wastage rates.
Moreover, smallholders faced significant barriers to adopting new technologies, including lack of financing and high barriers to entry, he said.
"The Netherlands has a highly developed agricultural sector with experience in production innovation and agricultural business investment, and application of scientific and technology to agriculture, especially in the cultivation sector," he said.
In the coming time, the ministry and the Netherlands’ Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality would promote the development of technical projects in the agricultural sector and encourage Dutch enterprises to invest in Việt Nam's agricultural sector in the form of FDI or public-private partnerships.
Marjolijn Sonnema, Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality of the Netherlands, said the cultivation industry accounted for a very large proportion in agricultural export volume of the Netherlands.
In order to maintain its position, the Netherlands continually invests in new methods and technologies and the most advanced management, and optimises supply chains, from farms to supermarkets to consumers, according to the official.
The Netherlands has a great deal of expertise and experience as well as technology used in the agricultural sector, especially in the farming sector, and is willing to share with partners like Việt Nam.
At the conference, Dutch businesses introduced innovative and sustainable technologies that impact the horticulture sector and have implications for growers and smallholders.
It also introduced methods to build vegetable value chains, which are being applied in the Netherlands and many other countries.
According to Meiny Prins, founder and CEO of PRIVA, technologies involved in production chains tend to change quickly and that businesses which do not improve their technologies may cease to exist within the next 10 years.
Technologies are now more affordable, accessible and user-friendly.
Willem Schoustra, agricultural counsellor at the Netherlands Embassy to Việt Nam, said: “I am amazed by the great potential of Việt Nam in terms of agriculture, particularly in horticulture. Việt Nam’s ambition is huge and it wants to become a strong regional and global player.
“The Netherlands is a strong partner with a high-quality and innovative agricultural sector. I am looking forward to how new concepts and ideas can contribute to future agricultural development, and strengthen the Netherlands and Việt Nam’s economic partnership.”
Organised by the Netherlands Economic Trade Mission, GrowAsia and VNUE Asia Pacific, the conference was part of the trade mission led by the Prime Minister of the Netherlands. — VNS