Vietnam: the big challenge of digital transformation in agriculture is to change perceptions

Regarding digital transformation in agriculture, Dang Duy Hien, Deputy Chief of the Office of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, and also the Deputy Leader of the Steering Committee for Digital Transformation in Agriculture, said the big challenge in agricultural digital transformation is to change the awareness and habits of farmers as well as local leaders.

Mr. Dang Duy Hien
Beeld: ©Custom News Vietnam

So far, to what extent has the agricultural industry applied technology and digitization, sir?

The agriculture sector and some localities have assigned and actively applied digital solutions in agricultural production and rural management. Some units have used digital technology in cultivation, animal husbandry, fisheries and forestry.

Typical in farming are software that analyzes data about the environment, plant growth stages, allowing access to track these parameters in real-time.

In animal husbandry is the application of the internet of things or blockchain and biotechnology in large-scale farms.

In forestry is the application of barcode technology to manage varieties and forest products.

In seafood is the application of fish detectors using ultrasonic waves, satellite phones and global positioning systems to help manage offshore fishing fleets.

Some large enterprises such as Vineco or Hoang Anh Gia Lai, Dabaco have applied high and advanced technology to manage production, distribution and consumption of products.

At first, the bright spots on the application of information technology in agriculture and rural areas have made good impressions, but in reality, these are just sporadic results, mainly based on individual initiatives of a number of enterprises and localities; still following the old thinking without digital connection, have not followed the comprehensive requirements of true digital transformation to bring about the desired effect.

How do you evaluate the outstanding benefits of digital transformation in the context of the pandemic?

An agricultural digital platform can help farmers exploit their advantages. Government agencies can generate useful data for farmers by analyzing soil conditions, satellite images, weather data or other factors; solve the processing and post-harvest preservation stages through digitizing logistics and infrastructure.

Currently, the post-harvest processing and preservation stage is only done on a small scale, which is still rudimentary, leading to rapid deterioration of agricultural products and quality to consumers is reduced.

Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has directed that farmers must be centered, for the sake of farmers, because farmers' interests make farmers' lives better, so they can rest assured of business and produce in the countryside. Farmers who produce agricultural products with low cost but high value is the goal of the agriculture and rural development sector.

What is the biggest challenge in the digital transformation of agriculture?

Digital transformation in agriculture is not only digitization, transforming data on paper into electronic data, but also requires the application of digital technology to create a new way of working, opening the era of intelligent development. With agriculture, it is a very high transition ladder, overcoming this is a huge challenge.

The challenge is to change the habits of farmers in agricultural production as well as the perception of the leaders. If there is the right approach, appropriate steps are taken, and with adequate support from the support policies of the State as well as the business community, Vietnam's agriculture will undergo rapid and comprehensive changes in the near future.

From the perspective of human resources in agriculture, technology cannot replace knowledge about agro-ecosystems; it will be difficult for farmers to apply technology when they are not proficient and enterprises do not have specific orientations. Those are the major challenges facing the process of digital transformation in agriculture, which must be noted to avoid or overcome them in the near future.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has established a Steering Committee for digital transformation in the agricultural sector. In 2022, what activities will the Steering Committee focus on implementing, sir?

Currently, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is actively coordinating with partners and specialized units to pilot digital transformation in the livestock and cropping industries in a specific, feasible and practical way; coordinating and promoting a number of important digital transformation platforms such as agricultural digital data platforms, feed tracing platforms, and planting area codes.

In 2022, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development will issue the Project on Digital Transformation of the Agriculture and Rural Development Sector in the 2021-2025 period, with a vision to 2030, as a basis for the entire sector to implement digital transformation, creating new breakthroughs, and improving production efficiency, attracting the participation of all components in the production chain from farmers, rural areas, enterprises and cooperatives to participate in the digital transformation process.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has directed that each unit must have at least one digital transformation activity to support the development of the digital agricultural economy as well as create a spillover to farmers.

By Đức Quang/ Kieu Oanh

Source: Custom News Vietnam 



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