Jun. 30, 2016
“High-tech agriculture means application of new technologies to production, including industrialization of agriculture (mechanization of production stages), automation, information technology, new material technology, biotechnology, plant varieties and animal breeds with high productivity and high quality, high economic efficiency per acreage unit and sustainable development on the basis of organic cultivation”. It is the opinion of the Science, Technology and Environment Department - Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
In the context of Vietnam being a member of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement having provisions on reduction of tariff barriers to 0% on agricultural products as scheduled, the traditional agriculture of our country will be most affected. Consequently, high-tech agriculture development proves to be a correct direction of Vietnam’s agricultural production in the context of competition and extensive integration.
Advantages of high-tech agricultural production
- High-tech agriculture creates a large amount of products with high yield, good quality and especially environmental friendliness.
The lessons learned from Israel show that in application of high technologies, each hectare of tomatoes produces approximately 250-300 tons/year; whereas, using traditional way of production in our country, the yield is only about 20-30 tons/ha/year. Likewise, while a hectare of roses in our country only produces about 1 million stems with revenue from VND 50-70 million/ha/year, the corresponding figure of Israel is 15 million stems with uniform quality and obviously higher revenue. In addition, the application of science and high technology also helps manufacturers save costs of, for examples, water, fertilizers, and plant protection drugs, thereby contributing to protecting the environment. Thanks to these benefits, high-tech agricultural production has become a model for agriculture in the twenty-first century.
- High-tech agriculture helps farmers be active in production, reduce dependence on weather and climate condition, thereby expanding production scale.
The application of greenhouse effects to create the most favorable environment for agricultural production as well as the application of other technological achievements to build modern farming and breeding establishments, independent of the weather and climate has led farmers to proactively plan their production and overcome the harsh seasonality in agricultural production. Due to weather and climate independence, grow off-seasonal agricultural products can be supplied with higher selling prices and therefore gaining higher profits than products of the main crops. Moreover, greenhouse effects with artificial environments make it possible to avoid the risks of weather, pests; obviously, plant and animal productivity per unit of land will increase and the markets will be extended. On the other hand, artificial environments are suitable with new plant varieties with higher tolerance for adverse weather conditions and higher resistance to diseases and pests. This is appropriate for arid regions which are unfavorable for agricultural production including midland, mountainous, desertified regions etc. In Vietnam, there appear high-tech models of planting bananas, orchids, tomatoes, and vegetables in accordance with VIETGAP and GLOBALGAP standards... in such provinces as Lam Dong, Lao Cai, the Southwest provinces, initially meeting demands for domestic consumption and export to fastidious markets such as the US, Japan and EU.
- High-tech agricultural production helps reduce production prices, diversify brands and better compete on the markets.
When high technologies are applied to agricultural production, the waste of land and water resources is limited thanks to the superiority of such technologies as biotechnology, genetic engineering, technology of organic fertilizer production and automation of manufacture. With the cost savings and increased productivity of plants and animals, production processes can easily achieve efficiency by scale and thus generate a large production base with enough products to supply to industrial processing. Because of product commercialization, product brands have been created and competed in the market. It’s the advantage of scale and low cost that ensures competitiveness of domestic products with imported goods, at least in transport and marketing costs. Examples of high-tech vegetable planting in net houses in Ho Chi Minh City showed revenue of VND 120-150 million/ha, 2-3 times higher than traditional farming. The models of floriculture - bonsai cultivation in Da Lat and planting Oolong tea in Lam Dong also show that the closed production line with seedlings, nursery, care and harvest in net houses with misting irrigation, drip irrigation system according to Israeli standards has much higher productivity and product quality than traditional production methods with the use of mulches. In Ba Ria - Vung Tau, Vinh Phuc, Hanoi... many models of producing plant varieties, rearing pigs and chicken on an industrial scale according to Japanese technology has brought back tremendous efficiency, helping the producers earn twice or many times higher than the traditional household extensive farming.
Simultaneously, many corporations, companies and large enterprises invest more and more in this field: Hoang Anh Gia Lai Group, Hoa Phat Group and recently Vingroup, which have invested more than 1000 hectares of high-tech agricultural production in Vinh Phuc (vegetables and flowers). This participation has demonstrated the proper development of this type of agricultural production, and in the near future there will be even more enterprises boldly investing in this high potential sector.
For agriculture to be a true strength of Vietnam in the context of integration with strong brands and capability of competing in the domestic and international market, it is necessary to invest robustly in agricultural production, expanding and further developing agricultural areas and regions applying high technologies, training and assisting farmers in production with the companionship of the 4-component connection model: the State - scientists - entrepreneurs and farmers. It will be a breakthrough of Vietnam agriculture in the new era.