Agriculture must change to keep up with the world trend
Change in line with the market
Tinh Thoi commune (Cao Lanh city, Dong Thap province currently has nearly 1,100 ha of mango growing area accounts. As the locality with the second largest mango growing area in Dong Thap, Tinh Thoi commune supplies the market with over 10,000 tons of mangoes of all kinds per year.
According to Director of Tinh Thoi Agricultural Service Cooperative Vo Tan Bao, with a production area of 150 ha and an annual output of nearly 2,000 tons, mango consumption is among the hardest problems the cooperative has to face. Due to the large output, the domestic market cannot consume all, so how to organize production to ensure export standards become a vital issue.
“In order to export, Tinh Thoi Agricultural Service Cooperative had to change its production model from the production-only state to applying science and technology and associate with businesses to create a production chain. The cooperative also promotes the product and looks for markets to solve the issues concerning mango output," said Vo Tan Bao.
The cooperative's hard work so far has borne fruits. When the border gate to China was congested, in 2021 the cooperative had chosen production linkage to export mangoes to the USA, Malaysia and recently to the EU market. This is a testament to this cooperative’s efforts in implementing production, business and agro-product export, opening up prospects in continuing to conquer difficult markets in the direction of quality, efficiency and sustainability, thereby increasing agro-product value and income for cooperative members as well as farmers in localities.
Change in line with the world trend
Through the story of Tinh Thoi Agricultural Service Cooperative, it can be seen that agriculture is becoming a modern business instead of just based on experience. Experience is valuable capital accumulated in the process of agroproduction, responding to natural disasters and epidemics. The more the experience, the less the risk, more output, and higher productivity. But it is essential to raise the question: In the current context, why is it that with such experience, labor productivity in Vietnam’s agricultural sector remains much lower than in other countries?
According to Mr. Le Duc Thinh, Director of the Department of Cooperatives and Rural Development (DCRD - MARD), the 4th industrial revolution has made the pace of change faster and more continuous. Inventions that can make the impossible possible appear one after another.
“The knowledge economy leads to a flow of smart devices with multi-function integration crept into every corner of the socio-economic life. Connection, exchange and trade in the flat world open up equal access opportunities for everyone, but with it comes fierce competition in the market. This requires farmers to have certain knowledge about the market and consumer needs," said Le Duc Thinh.
Đại dien Bo NN-PTNT cho rằng những thay đổi đó yeu cầu mỗi người nong dan khong thể mãi bằng lòng voi kinh nghiem, sự cần cu, voi cach nghĩ, cach lam quen thuoc. Người sản xuất nong nghiep bắt buoc phải nắm vững quy luật thị trường, hạ gia thanh, tăng chất lượng sản phẩm. Kinh nghiem có thể giup cải thien năng suất, nhưng tri thuc vừa có thể gia tăng hieu năng, năng suất, vừa tiết giảm chi phí, tối ưu quy trình. Kinh nghiem có thể đối phó nhất thời voi những biến đong cục bo trong phạm vi hẹp, ngắn hạn, mang tính thời điểm nhưng tri thuc tường tận về quy luật vận đong của thị trường sẽ giup chủ đong thích ung voi những thay đổi tren dien rong, có suc tac đong lau dai.
What needs to be done to effectively change the production mindset
A big challenge remains that the agricultural industry today has a large number of farming households but all possess small farming scales, little investment, old and outdated equipment. Common weaknesses include lack of cooperation, association, fragmented and small production, and high dependence on intermediary traders.
Dao The Anh, Deputy Director of the Vietnam Academy of Agriculture Sciences (VAAS – MARD) thus said, “When and only when farmers change their production and business mindset, associate and participate in cooperative along the value chain can they apply digital transformation, scientific and technical advances in agriculture effectively.”
In order to achieve the goal of modern countryside and smart farmer, it is necessary to take into account the reform of the institutions of production organization and value chain as well as the application of science and technology, digital transformation to improve resources and increase labor productivity. Public investment in agriculture, especially in research and innovation, should also be prioritized to meet the rapidly increasing demand for science and technology in the new age of development.
It is necessary to clarify the new growth model, which highlights the role of science, technology and innovation in order to increase labor productivity and growth quality associated with the agricultural economy and rural society, bringing into full play its advantages.
The MARD also needs to participate in coordinating the National Technology Innovation Program and develop digital transformation projects as well as a centralized digital platform in order to improve the quality of public service for agriculture and rural areas.
Authors: Pham Hieu – Minh Phuc
Translated by Samuel Pham
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