More training needed in high-tech agriculture

Friday, Nov 24, 2017 07:47

A hi-tech strawberry growing farm in Da Lat City. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyen Dung

Advanced training programmes are needed to improve human resources working in the high-tech agriculture sector, experts have said.

The national plan to develop human resources in the 2011-20 period has targeted increasing trained employees in the agriculture and forestry sectors to 50 per cent by 2020 from 15.5 per cent in 2010.

Under the plan, the industry would face a shortage of 3.2 million trained labourers.

Nguyen Do Anh Tuan, head of the Institute of Policy and Strategy for the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the agricultural sector had few workers with training and had mainly depended on labourers’ experience.

Tuan was quoted in the Thanh Nien (Young People) newspaper as saying that “low standards for labourers have had a negative impact on their capacity to approach advanced science and technologies.”

“In regions where the economy is less developed, this is a big barrier limiting the development of high-tech agriculture,” he said.

Tuan said the training system was out of date and could not meet demand for training workers, both in terms of quality and quantity.

Education in Viet Nam focuses mostly on theory and not practice in the field or on the farm, he added.

Dr Nguyen Thi Lan from the Viet Nam National University of Agriculture agreed that Viet Nam lacked a skilled workforce.

“We’re facing a shortage of educated human resources to meet the demand of high-tech agriculture at a time of the fourth industrial revolution,” she told Thanh Nien.

“There are many graduates, but they have limited working skills. They also lack creativity and practical skills,” she said.

The skills of workers, especially in rural areas, must be improved, especially in the context of international integration and 70 per cent of the population working in agriculture.

Tran Thi Hong Lan, a senior official at the Ministry of Science and Technology, said the initial priority should be education.

“Firstly, training programmes at all levels, from school to university, should be initiated,” she told Thanh Nien. “Science and technology must be seen as an important basis for education in which students should be encouraged to be creative.”

Nguyen Van Tien, head of the rural agricultural department under the Central Economic Committee, said that more money from the budget should be allocated to training in high-tech agriculture.

These investments must focus on training professionals and skilled experts in the fields of bio-technology, new-material technology and management science, he said.

The Government should also encourage organisations, companies and individuals to set up vocational training centres and hold training programmes in areas using high-tech agriculture. — VNS

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