Digitalisation in traceability of farm produce critical as VN aims to build transparent agriculture

Wednesday, Mar 01, 2023 12:53

A consumer scanning a QR code to check product information. Digitalisation in the traceability of farm produce contributes to building brands, thereby building a transparent and multi-value integrated agriculture sector. — Photo

It is critical to promote digitalisation in the traceability of farm produce as Viet Nam aims to build a transparent, multi-value integrated agriculture sector.

Nguyen Quoc Toan, director of the Centre for Digital Transformation and Agricultural Statistics under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, spoke at a forum held in Ha Noi on Tuesday with the support of the Australia Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR).

Toan said traceability is one of the eight key issues in the digital transformation of the sector.

Digitisation in agricultural product traceability requires the engagement and coordination of all parties, from State management agencies to enterprises, cooperatives and farmers, he said, adding that the State management in this issue aims to meet requirements of international integration, improve transparency and accountability for the sector, and increase farmers’ interests.

According to Toan, Viet Nam currently has around 19,000 cooperatives, 14,200 enterprises and 7,500 processing facilities in the agricultural sector, along with about 9,400 supermarkets and markets, which constitutes the Big Data part of the sector.

Therefore, the traceability of agricultural products must be holistic and specific, he stressed.

Vietnamese farm produce is now present in nearly 200 countries and territories worldwide and increasingly affirming their prestige and position in the international market. Ensuring quality, food safety and transparency of origin was a must-do for Viet Nam to move towards a multi-value integrated agriculture sector, in which digitalisation played an important role.

Mai Quang Vinh, chairman of Vietnam Digital Economy Cooperative Alliance, said that it was very easy to create a QR code for one product and it took users only a few seconds to have the information about the product. However, there would be a loophole if the management was not tight enough which paved the way for mixing with poor-quality products.

Huynh Tan Dat, deputy director of the ministry’s Plant Protection Department, said that promoting digitalisation in the traceability of farm produce would not only protect the interest of farmers, cooperatives and enterprises but also contribute to building brands, thereby building a transparent and multi-value integrated agriculture industry.

Dat said that the department has built a national database on planting area codes and export packing facilities. Planting areas and packing facilities must comply with the requirements of import markets to be granted codes.

Nguyen Thi Thanh Thuc, chairwoman of AutoAgri Software Technology Company, said traceability should be developed in the direction of connection, interconnection and concentration. The application of digital technology in traceability must be flexible and appropriate to each location and each plant.

Data in agriculture is specific to each region so it must be flexible in the application of digital technology, she said. Ministries and localities needed to launch innovative programmes in the field of agricultural digital transformation.

In addition, policies must be raised to encourage farmers, cooperatives and enterprises to apply digitalisation in traceability, she said. — VNS

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