13:00 | 03/08/2020 Science - Technology
(VEN) - Ho Chi Minh City’s (HCMC) agricultural sector has experienced a gross regional domestic product (GRDP) growth of more than six percent per year and reached an average production value of VND550 million per hectare per annum, about five times the country’s average. Urban agricultural production contributed to these achievements while creating an increasing number of high economic value farm produce.
Increasing urban agricultural production value
According to the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, less efficient paddy rice and sugarcane cultivation areas have been transformed into areas growing and farming high economic value plants and animals. These models have helped improved the sector’s production value.
The city is focusing on developing key product groups, including vegetables, flowers and ornamental plants; dairy products; pigs; seafood; and ornamental fish.
High technology and VietGAP (Vietnamese Good Agricultural Practices) certification helped the city increase its agricultural production value, with key products accounting for almost 70 percent of the city’s agricultural production value, reaching more than VND13.8 trillion per year.
Specifically, leafy vegetables yielded VND1-1.4 billion per hectare per year, while fruits brought in VND0.6-0.7 billion, tropical orchids about VND2 billion, shrimp farming VND2.7-3 billion, ornamental fish VND10-12 billion per hectare per year, and dairy cows VND800 million per 20 cows per annum. With a profit growth of 30-40 percent per year, hi-tech agriculture has attracted individual and enterprise investors.
The Ho Chi Minh City Center for Agricultural Consultancy and Support (HCACS) has coordinated with localities to hold safe farm produce fairs in the city’s different urban and suburban districts, which brought in revenue of more than VND367 billion per year.
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Urban agriculture promotion
According to Nguyen Phuoc Trung, Director of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, the city’s agriculture sector will build and implement key product development programs, apply biotechnology to produce high-quality plant varieties and animal breeds and gradually form a regional seedlings and breeds center.
The sector will also develop science, technology and hi-tech agriculture pertaining to human resources training to make good use of opportunities provided by the Fourth Industrial Revolution or Industry 4.0. Developing production pertaining to eco-tourism, and promoting the role of cooperatives is also something the industry will do to reach sustainable development and improve farmer incomes.
The city is facilitating high-tech agricultural production and aquaculture through assistance for newly established agricultural and service cooperatives, issuing preferential policies for university and college degree holders working for agricultural cooperatives, and implementing additional high-tech agricultural production models, aiming to minimize costs and help farmers expand production areas and improve incomes.
According to Nguyen Van Lam, Deputy Director of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, the demand for vocational training for rural workers has increased in the context of Industry 4.0. About 6,400 rural workers in the city are expected to access some kind of training this year to cater for the application of Industry 4.0 achievements in agriculture, Lam said.
Dr. Tu Minh Thien, Deputy Head of the management board for Ho Chi Minh City Hi-tech Agricultural Park said relevant authorities should learn about the market’s needs, inform farmers of these needs and provide them with suitable training and information. With access to market information, farmers will produce and provide what the market needs, he said. Vocational training, including online training, for rural workers should be developed in accordance with market specifications.
Ho Chi Minh City’s agriculture sector has set a target of six percent GRDP growth, average production value
of VND600 million per hectare, 21,150ha of safe vegetables, 2,510ha of flowers and ornamental plants, 70,000
dairy cows, 200,000 pigs, 62,760 tonnes of seafood, 220 million ornamental fish, a forest coverage rate of
17.86 percent, 1,700 agricultural businesses, and 80 percent of 16,920ha of vegetables and fruits eligible for
the VietGAP certification.