High-tech agriculture

The right direction for Lam Dong to break through into the global supply chain

(VEN) - Lam Dong Province has many breakthrough solutions to develop comprehensive, sustainable and modern agriculture. Vietnam Economic News’ Diep Hien spoke with Dr. Pham S, Vice Chair of Lam Dong Province People's Committee about this issue.
The right direction for Lam Dong to break through into the global supply chain
Vice President Vo Thi Anh Xuan (left) and Dr. Pham S, Vice Chair of Lam Dong Province People's Committee visit an international standard agriculture-based tourism model in Ward 5 of Da Lat City

In 2022, Vietnam's economy faced many challenges but the agricultural sector in Vietnam in general and Lam Dong Province in particular still had many positive signs. To achieve this result, what solutions have been implemented?

Having developed hi-tech agriculture since 2004, Lam Dong Province always issues thematic resolutions on hi-tech agriculture. It provides great orientations for farmers and businesses with basic solutions, including synchronously implementing breakthrough solutions close to the practical situation such as high-tech agricultural production planning; always investing intensively in the selection and breeding of crops and animals for high productivity and quality; and scientific and technological research and transfer. Branding development has always been interested in the province and has organized the implementation of hundreds of research topics and projects for hi-tech agriculture; a great success in practice is that enterprises have invested in, selected technology and equipment suitable for each ecological sub-region and plant and livestock subjects, and developed farming processes according to standards and regulations on hi-tech agricultural production.

In addition, the province has drastically directed the application of mechanization and automation in the entire production process, especially the care and harvesting stages to reduce production costs. At the same time, in the process of organizing production, Lam Dong Province always has a relatively close forecast to the current international integration conditions, on the basis of which it finds strengths to pave the way for the agricultural sector to take off and integrate into international economic communities.

As a result, by the end of 2022, the province was estimated to reach over 65,300 hectares of production meeting the criteria of high-tech production, accounting for 21.8 percent of the province's cultivated land area; the value of high-tech agricultural production reached an average of VND430 million/ha, accounting for over 40 percent of the total production value of the sector. Production value per unit of cultivated vegetable area using smart technology is over VND2 billion/ha/year; flower production using IoT technology is from VND3-8 billion/ha/year. In particular, so far, the province has built a brand and established intellectual property rights of 31 brands for typical products of the province, including Da Lat Vegetables, Dalat Flowers, B’Lao Tea, Di Linh Coffee, Arabica Langbiang Coffee, Da Lat Cold Water Fish, and Bao Loc Silk, among others.

The right direction for Lam Dong to break through into the global supply chain
Dr. Pham S (right, standing) and Lee Hak Soo (left, standing), Mayor of Jeong-eup City of the Republic of Korea’s Jeollabuk Province witness the signing ceremony of an agricultural workers training cooperation agreement

In the process of developing high-tech agriculture, what difficulties has Lam Dong encountered and how has the province overcome them?

Despite many innovations, Lam Dong Province is still facing basic difficulties such as agricultural production still lacking stability because the price of materials in recent years has always increased higher than the price of agricultural products. And the province has a solution to produce organic fertilizers, apply mechanization to reduce living labor in order to reduce production costs. In addition, due to the rapid urbanization process, the province has focused on science and technology as the foundation throughout the production process.

In addition, when developing high-tech agriculture, the nuclear factor, the core is enterprises and cooperatives. However, both of these forces are still slow to develop, not commensurate with their potential; production is not yet tied to the market... Therefore, the province has reviewed to direct the development of a practical and synchronous agricultural cooperative.

Another difficulty is that attracting enterprises to invest in agriculture and rural areas is still limited; most enterprises have difficulties in production public land fund when making investment projects; infrastructure for concentrated production planning areas and industrial parks has not been invested synchronously. Therefore, the province is oriented with a long-term vision of agricultural product processing industrial park.

What mechanisms and policies do localities have to attract foreign investors as well as expand international cooperation? Could you share your experience in multinational agricultural development?

In the current and future periods, Vietnam is fully implementing and will implement its commitments to free trade agreements such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP); Vietnam-EU Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA); Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), joining the ASEAN community, and implementing WTO regulations. Therefore, Lam Dong Province always has appropriate policies to attract foreign investment, international cooperation and strategic investors; improve the level of state management, access to scientific and technological knowledge and corporate governance to grasp international regulations.

Firstly, mastering all provincial branches of international cooperation is a requirement for integration; providing authentic data on local natural conditions, potentials and different policies; supporting policies on land, trade promotion and labor force training to meet investor requirements; and at the same time committing to donors on accessibility and effective capital implementation for community development.

Secondly, improving training on knowledge of international integration through continuing to promote economic restructuring, especially restructuring of the agricultural sector in association with attracting foreign investment.

Thirdly, reviewing, adjusting and supplementing the master plan of the agricultural sector and specialized plans in the direction of a multidisciplinary approach.

Fourthly, in the immediate future, focusing on building hi-tech agricultural zones; strongly developing hi-tech agricultural areas; accelerating the project of post-harvest centers and flower trading centers with the participation of Japanese enterprises and a number of advanced foreign enterprises.

Finally, strengthening state management of agriculture, especially quality management of agricultural materials, quality management of agricultural products, ensuring food safety and hygiene, promoting the application of production standards such as VietGAP, GlobalGAP, HACCP, and ORGANIC.

In the upcoming plan, in order to continue attracting foreign investment in hi-tech agriculture, the province has planned to focus on training human resources in parallel with training leading experts and training good managers of the agricultural sector; developing new cooperative models and production connectivity among farmers, cooperatives and enterprises, forming safe agricultural production and supply chains with the participation of FDI enterprises; attracting FDI projects to develop the potential; attracting official development assistance (ODA) to invest in equipment and technology, improving the level of corporate governance in order to improve labor productivity, and improving product quality and enterprise competitiveness; organizing trade promotion missions in markets with potential advantages to expand agricultural export markets; proactively selecting and applying advanced technologies of the world in a shortcut manner to take the lead for the comprehensive, modern, sustainable development of Lam Dong’s agricultural in order to become one of the agricultural centers in Southeast Asia.

Diep Hien

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