Collectivize, industrialize, Vietnam farmers urged

By Pham Van   June 10, 2018 | 12:23 am PT
Collectivize, industrialize, Vietnam farmers urged
A woman walking pass the fruits area in a mall in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Dat Nguyen
Shifting to large scale farming will enable hitech application and improve quality of agricultural produce, experts say.

Instead of working individually, Vietnamese farmers should band together and become “industrial workers,” an expert says.

Dang Kim Son, former director of research with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said at the Vietnam Economic Forum on Tuesday that farmers need to join forces to take Vietnamese agriculture to the next level, applying advanced technology and engaging in large scale production.

He said farmers need to work together under a co-operative system where their combined produce is sold by one representative organization, which will give them greater control over both input and output, Son said.

Vietnam also needs to establish a research institute that provides data helping farmers to focus on cultivating the most productive fruits, he added.

One of the downsides of Vietnamese agriculture is that produce quality is not guaranteed, said Tran Thanh Hai, deputy director of the Import-Export Department under the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

“When farmers industrialize agriculture, manufacturing costs will be lower and produce quality higher,” Hai said.

Technology, especially blockchain technology, should be applied in farming, said Vu Truong Ca, CEO of Lina Network.

He said a standardized supply chain should be applied in growing fruits to yield higher value, Ca added.

Other experts at the forum reiterated what they’ve been saying for many years now, that Vietnam needs to reduce export of raw produce and focus more on processing produce after harvest.

With 90 percent of exports being raw material, the country’s produce value will continue to be low, said Nguyen Quoc Toan, acting director of the Department of Processing and Market Development of Agricultural Products.

“Produce like lychee have short cycles, so we need to improve processing before exporting,” Toan said.

Vietnam’s agriculture export-import turnover reached $17.5 billion last year, an increase of 16 percent from 2016. Vegetable, fruits and cashew each account for 20 percent of total agriculture produce exports, while coffee makes up 19 percent, according to Vietnam Customs.

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