Hi-tech agriculture rides strong wave of domestic investment

Thursday, Jan 05, 2017 15:22

Hi-tech agriculture is on investment radar of big companies. — Photo veneco.net.vn

The agriculture sector, especially hi-tech agriculture, has caught the attention of domestic giant firms, such as Vingroup, Hoa Phat and Hoang Anh Gia Lai, creating a new wave of investment.

The presence of Tran Ba Duong, CEO of Truong Hai Auto, at an agricultural conference where he shared his plan to invest in the agriculture sector, surprised many.

The automobile industry tycoon said Vietnamese agriculture has little scope for development without industry, asserting that industrial firms with strong capital should join the sector to create standardised models in agricultural production.

Dương reckoned that post-harvest transportation and preservation are the weaknesses of agriculture. However, the mechanisation of agriculture must suit the situation on the ground in Viet Nam.

He revealed that his firm is working with the An Giang-based Loc Troi Group to build a post-harvest industrial complex for rice in the northern region, which will provide transportation, harvest and processing at reasonable costs.

Earlier, VinGroup invested over VND2 trillion (US$88 million) in VinEco to grow safe fruits and vegetables. Steelmaker Hoa Phat Group also announced plans to invest in the area of feed and livestock.

However, Vu Van Tien, CEO of Geleximco Group, said the number of businesses engaging in agriculture sector remains few.

To succeed in agriculture, businesses need sufficient production land and capital, he said, calling for support policies for the field.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, some 4,000 enterprises out of a total of 600,000 Vietnamese firms are investing in agriculture.

The interest of large investors in agriculture is hoped to open up a new chapter for the sector’s development, but land and capital are still major obstacles.

At a recent conference on building an agricultural industry, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc asked ministries and sectors to submit solutions for the problems facing agriculture to the government and authorised agencies.

The PM revealed that the government is considering piloting a land bank and land use market, together with setting up some insurance funds for agriculture to support farmers.

The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) has devised a credit package worth VND50 trillion for high-tech and clean agriculture production, which has been assigned to the Bank for Agriculture.

The PM requested the SBV to create a favourable lending mechanism and allow more commercial banks to disburse the package. – VNS

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