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Digital transformation is "key" for sustainable agricultural development

10:31 | 09/12/2021

VCN - In agriculture, digital transformation is a positive solution that can overcome the inherent weakness of fragmented and small production and form value chains and effective production linkages. Successful digital transformation in agriculture will be an important factor for success in national digital transformation.

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The Forum: Photo: NT
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Speaking at the 6th National Farmers Forum titled: "Farmers with digital transformation in agriculture" on December 2, 2021, Chairman of the Central Executive Committee of Vietnam Farmer’s Union Mr. Luong Quoc Doan said facing the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, digital transformation is no longer an optional solution but a mandatory requirement for each country, each field, and each person.

"Successful digital transformation in agriculture will be an important factor for success in national digital transformation," said Mr. Luong Quoc Doan.

Vice Chairman of Bac Giang Provincial People's Committee Mr. Phan The Tuan said in order to promote lychee consumption amid the Covid-19 pandemic, in 2021, Bac Giang province encouraged businesses and cooperatives to open sites on e-commerce platforms (Alibaba.com, San24h.vn, Sendo.vn, Voso.vn, Postmart.vn); sell lychee on social networks, fanpages on Facebook and Zalo.

"Thanks to the application of digital transformation in production management and trade promotion, the province sold 215,852 tons of lychee (the highest amount ever)," said Mr. Tuan.

Bac Giang province identifies digital transformation in agriculture as an inevitable trend. Mr. Tuan himself admits that this is quite new. Most agricultural producers in the province are small and medium-sized enterprises and cooperatives with limited capital and human resources and a lack of technology.

Mr. Tan Siang Hee, President of the Asian CropLife Association, said Vietnam is taking the first steps in agricultural digitization. In the past 18 months, facing the Covid-19 pandemic, the agricultural industry has transformed itself very quickly. The notable move is the connection between farmers and consumers.

Lychee consumption in 2021 saw impressive results. Ảnh: Nguyễn Thanh
Lychee consumption in 2021 saw impressive results. Ảnh: Nguyễn Thanh

According to a recent survey by CropLife Asia among 130 Vietnamese rice, fruit and vegetable farmers, 42% of them said they want to apply digitalization in agriculture. Vietnam has a higher rate than the other three ASEAN countries in the same survey.

Therefore, it can be seen that Vietnamese farmers are more interested in digitization than anywhere else in the region. This is a great opportunity for partners in the agri-food production chain to continue cooperation to promote pilot application of new technologies.

According to his experience in some countries with small farming models like Vietnam, projects are often implemented on a small scale in a specific region and on specific subjects.

When the projects are successful, the farmers themselves will help spread the effect of the technology. "This is the most effective way to make farmers to expand the application of technology on a large scale," said Mr. Tan Siang Hee.

Regarding promotion of agricultural digital transformation, Dr. Tran Cong Thang, the Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) proposed to build a national information database on agriculture.

In which, according to Mr. Thang, it is necessary to focus on building a national database on digital agriculture; establish an integrated surveillance network in the air and on the ground for agricultural activities; providing information on the environment, weather, and soil quality for farmers to improve productivity and crop quality.

In addition, there should be incentive policies and financial support for small-scale farmers; encourage accumulation and concentration of land.

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Currently, the whole country has 4.1 million hectares of agricultural land, but it is divided into seven million plots, stretching across 14 latitudes of seven different ecological zones. Every year, Vietnam exports US$42-43 billion of agricultural, forestry and fishery products to over 180 countries and territories; in which there are 10 key products with export turnover of US$1 billion or more such as rice, shrimp, tra fish, rubber, pepper, cashew nut, coffee, cassava, furniture.

This is huge data that must be "digitized" to serve the production chain and the value chain of the agricultural industry.

By Thanh Nguyen/ Huyen Trang