15:30 | 19/03/2015 Science - Technology
Technology firms and large multinational companies around the globe have begun venturing into agriculture and utilizing their expertise to turn strong profits, according to leading market analysts.
The analysts have suggested that hi-tech companies are tempted to plunge into agriculture primarily because of public unease about the quality of much of the food made by low tech farming after a series of safety scandals.
The newcomers felt they could offer a fresh approach and give consumers greater quality, the analysts said.
A good example is Japan’s Fujitsu Global that shut one of its three chip-making lines at the plant in 2009. Now, in a sterile, dust-free clean room that once built the brains of high-tech gadgets, the company with a staff of about 30 tend heads of lettuce and sell them at a high profit.
These same analysts have now suggested that in order for Vietnam to be competitive in the global marketplace it needs to transition into a knowledge-based agricultural system that uses technology to increase the value and quality of farm produce.
Moving to high-tech farming will boost the overall competitiveness of the nation’s agriculture and related products, which last year generated billions in total revenue.
However it has done so at very meagre profits despite bumper crops, they have said.
The latest statistics from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) showed that in the 2015 January-February period, Vietnam’s agriculture shipments abroad were valued at US$1.7 billion.
Overall the report reflected that key farm export items such as seafood, rice, and coffee saw a decline in value compared to the corresponding period last year.
MARD economists attributed the strong decrease to a combination of poor marketing skills of domestic exporters and both farmers and producers — who lack the capacity to compete globally in the high-tech industry.
Hi-tech farming is a knowledge-based agricultural system that uses technology to increase value and quality of the farm's produce and it is flourishing in mostly highly densely populated urban areas.
It enables maximum output on a small plot of land or a small factory and is thus particularly important in countries with high population density and limited land area. High – tech farms are highly mechanized. This reduces the need for human labour and increases labour productivity and competitiveness.
Cao Phong-Hoa Binh company director Ha Ngoc Tuyen, stressed the need to apply modern technology in both the production and preservation processes. Safe application of modern technology will help increase the value of agricultural products, Tuyen stressed.
Director General of Hanoi-Hapro Corporation Nguyen Tien Vuong in turn said farmers can use high tech to stay abreast of market conditions to get up to the minute timely information on market information and conditions in markets not only in Vietnam but around the world.
They can also use high-tech to stay on top of new regulations in Vietnam’s market and those in other markets as well.
Dr. Luu Bich Ho, a former Director of the Ministry of Planning and Investment’s Development Strategy Institute, said in the face of tough competition domestic businesses are urged to utilize technology in developing a production chain for agricultural products.
Source VOV News