Mekong farmers use iPads to learn about ’smart’ agriculture

15:36 | 18/03/2019 Science - Technology

Authorities in the Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap have taken measures to bring farmers closer to smart agriculture at a time when they are struggling to find buyers for their produce.

Harvesting rice in the Mekong Delta province of Hau Giang - Source: VNA

Le Minh Hoan, Secretary of the provincial Party Committee, said the province was among the first in the region to provide economic information to farmers so they could improve their lives.

With Hoan’s recommendation, the business community donated iPads to farmers in the province. “The iPads are useful tools that help farmers learn about farming experiences from home and abroad,” said Hoan, adding that it is the best way to approach the “knowledge revolution”.

After a visit from Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc two years ago, Hau Giang province also began focusing on smart agriculture.

During the visit, PM Phuc said: “Hau Giang needs to transfer from chemical and industrial agriculture to organic agriculture and smart farming, and develop services and processing and auxiliary industries to support its farming industry.”

Since then, the province has focused on sustainable development in agriculture and its program on new rural areas.

This year, it began promoting a green economy, targeting smart agriculture, with priorities given to aquaculture, rice and vegetable cultivation. The province set up a 5,200ha hi-tech agricultural park in the province’s Long My district with policies to support enterprises and farmers to develop clean and green agriculture in the park. In addition to rice, Hau Giang sells other products such as strabismus falls fish, dragon fruit, pineapple and soursop to overseas markets.

According to Le Tien Chau, Chairman of the Hau Giang provincial People’s Committee, farmers need assistance from others to learn about high technologies. Scientists, universities and research institutes can provide help to farmers.

Dr Truong Duy Can from Can Tho University said that local communities were focusing more on advanced technology and development of their major products.

“The agricultural revolution must begin with the reduction of the use of plant protection chemicals and fertilizers,” which must be replaced by biological products and eco-friendly production that results in products of high nutritional value, he said.