Mekong sub-region urged to embrace farming tech

Tuesday, Nov 28, 2017 08:33

Agricultural co-operatives, producers and distribution firms agree to promote consumption of Dong Thap Muoi (Plain of Reeds)’s farm produce. — VNS Photo Xuan Huong

Provinces in the Dong Thap Muoi (Plain of Reeds) region should embrace agricultural technology and modern techniques to reduce costs and improve efficiency, according to the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta Development Research Institute.

Dong Thap Muoi, the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta’s floodplain, spreads over nearly 700,000ha and comprises Long An, Tien Giang and Dong Thap provinces.

Speaking at a conference on promoting investment and consumption of agricultural products in Dong Thap Muoi held in Long An last Saturday, Dang Kieu Nhan of the institute said agriculture in the area, mainly based on intensive farming and exploiting natural resources, is likely to reach its upper limit.

“Profits and revenues from rice production have not increased, while the socio-economic and environmental challenges are increasing.

“Besides, demand for agricultural products have become more diverse, with higher quality requirements both in domestic and export markets.

“Therefore, agriculture in the region needs to change to adapt to the situation.”

It should focus on developing agricultural services and modern farming to add value, he said.

Nguyen Van Duoc, deputy chairman of Long An Province, said though the agricultural sector has made remarkable progress in recent years, people’s lives remain difficult.

Faced with the situation, Long An has in collaboration with Tien Giang and Dong Thap developed a project to develop Dong Thap Muoi with a target to create unique and distinctive products with competitive advantages, he said.

“Long An has also promoted co-operation with other localities and strived to improve the investment environment and infrastructure for agriculture in rural areas.”

The conference also heard about the benefits of applying technology in agriculture and measures to develop hi-tech agriculture in Dong Thap Muoi.

Calling for investment

At the conference the three provinces solicited investment worth trillions of dong in 16 agricultural projects.

Long An sought VND3.52 trillion (US$155 million) in nine, notably a lemon processing project with a growing area of 550ha in Ben Luc District at a cost of VND1 trillion.

Tien Giang had four projects worth over VND1.5 trillion ($66.2 million), including a hi-tech agricultural park on 197ha in Chau Thanh and Tan Phuoc districts worth VND1.2 trillion.

Dong Thap had three projects, a logistics centre and wholesale fruit market and two hi-tech agriculture sub-zones in Sa Dec and Cao Lanh cities.

It has also sought investment in many other projects, including infrastructure at industrial parks, processing plants, solar energy production, tourism and urban development.

Duoc, deputy chairman of Long An Province, said the local government would carry out further administrative reform and train workers to meet the requirements of businesses.

It is willing to offer incentives to investors, he added.

Also at the conference seven memorandums of understanding were signed between co-operatives, producers and distribution firms to promote consumption of the sub-region’s farm produce. — VNS

Comments (0)