Technology crucial to high-value agriculture development: GMS

Friday, Mar 30, 2018 19:54

Panelists discussed the role of technology in agriculture during a session held on Friday within the ongoing Greater Mekong Sub-region Summit in Ha Noi. — VNA/VNS Photo

Science-technology is a breakthrough solution to green and high-value agriculture development, said agriculture minister Nguyen Xuan Cuong at a session on agriculture business and technology within the framework of the GMS Business Summit in Ha Noi on March 30.

The Minister highlighted the important role of agriculture in economic growth and sustainable development of GMS nations, particularly Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Viet Nam (CLMV). The sector provides livelihoods for the regional citizens, particularly the low-income groups.

Cuong underlined the export capability and competitiveness of GMS agricultural products thanks to the region’s favourable geographic location as a gateway to the Asia – Pacific region and the world.

In the coming time, agriculture will continue being an important sector to ensure food security, promote poverty reduction and hunger eradication, and serve as important support for other economic sectors, Cuong affirmed.

The fourth industrial revolution presents an opportunity for the GMS nations to boost hi-tech agriculture, in terms of artificial intellectual to reduce labour force and biotechnology to create high-yield varieties, among others, he said.

Technology application in agriculture produce has helped halved the poverty rate in GMS nations over the past years, thanks to increased productivity and income for farmers.

He called on the GMS nations to develop a cross-border agriculture value chain with application of technology while exchanging information and cooperating closely together in building strategies and making planning for regional agriculture development.

Focus should be placed on developing logistics to support agriculture and managing cross-border agricultural products’ quality. The GMS nations should also strengthen technology application in managing natural resources, natural disasters, and the use of Mekong water resources for agriculture.

Participants suggested the regional countries build a policy framework to facilitate participation of private sector in ensuring food security in particular and contributing to the regional economic growth in general.

They also attached significance to direct linkage between farmers and traders to help farmers produce their products in line with the standards while increasing farmers’ income.

Ngo Minh Hai, Chairman of the Viet Nam-based TH True Milk, said his group worked directly with households and cooperatives to ensure they grow grasses and cows in line with the company’s requirement in terms of production procedure and products quality

They provide training courses and technical assistance for involved farmers, thus introducing them to technologies applied in their farming, while giving them sustainable livelihoods and incomes.

Dang Hoang Giang, President of the Viet Nam Cashew Association (VINACASS) underlined the factor of technology application in increasing the value of agricultural products in general and cashew nuts in particular.

He also stressed the need for developing large-scale fields and specialised crops to ensure efficient application of technology in production and processing.

Ousmane Dione, Country Director of the World Bank in Viet Nam, affirmed that the agricultural sector continued to be the key factor for economic growth and sustainable development of the GMS nations.

The regional nations needed to ensure the sector would be competitive, adaptive to climate change, and integrate into the regional and global supply chains.

The first-ever Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Business Summit forms part of the sixth GMS Summit (GMS-6) and the 10th Cambodia-Laos-Viet Nam Development Triangle Summit (CLV-10).

As an initiative of host Viet Nam, the event aims to strengthen dialogues between enterprises and governments and connect businesses in the region and the world, while encouraging resources from the private sector for the GMS Programme. — VNS

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