Hi-tech farming needs skilled workers

Saturday, Jul 14, 2018 08:29

Participants visit a booth showcasing high-tech agricultural products at a seminar held on Friday in Can Tho. — VNA/ VNS Photo Anh Tuyet

High-tech agricultural methods used in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta will require highly skilled human resources to take full advantage of cutting-edge technologies, speakers said on Friday at a seminar held in Can Tho.

Ole Henriksen, senior technical specialist at Integrated Coastal Management Programme, said that high-tech agricultural methods had helped create many varieties of plants and animal breeds that have high economic value and are highly competitive in the market.

Modern high-tech methods have also increased productivity and product quality, but use of such methods requires highly skilled workers as well as more incentives from the state to encourage businesses to invest in hi-tech machinery, according to the specialist.

According to Dr. Dang Kim Khoi, director of the Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development, skilled staff are needed to operate high-tech equipment such as greenhouse systems and "intelligent" agricultural production processes.

Viet Nam has great potential for use of newer methods, including digital technology, robots, biotechnology, 3D printing, new materials and renewable energy.

However, only 10 per cent of the country’s processing industry used high-tech applications in the 2006-2010 period.

As of the end of last year, only 1 per cent of agricultural enterprises had been recognised as having applied high-tech agriculture.

Khoi said that more support was needed from the Government, including incentives for land use and tax incentives for enterprises.

For example, enterprises that apply high-tech agricultural methods should have easy access to preferential loans.

For land, priority should be given to the construction of high-tech areas for national strategic agricultural products.

The Government should also call for private sectors to invest in high-tech agriculture in the form of public-private partnerships, Khoi said.

Other speakers at the seminar said the Delta region should create climate-smart agricultural models in keeping with the giant leaps offered by the fourth industrial revolution.

They also discussed ways to promote research and the transfer of scientific research results for commercial application.

They recommended focusing on new and smart technologies, as well as automation technology solutions.

The seminar included demonstrations of modern and smart technologies for agriculture and aquaculture, as well as business networking activities for technology transfer in the region.

The Mekong Delta region is a key agricultural area, accounting for 50 per cent, 65 per cent and 70 per cent of the nation’s rice, aquaculture and fruit yields, respectively.

The region contributes 95 per cent of rice exports and 60 per cent of aquatic product exports of the country, according to figures from the Can Tho People’ Committee.

The seminar was organised by Can Tho University in collaboration with the German Development Cooperation Agency (GIZ), Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development and International Centre for Tropical Agriculture. — VNS

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