Severe shortage of high-skilled laborers in Lam Dong province

Being a province leading the country in high-tech agriculture, the central highlands province of Lam Dong has seen ongoing problem at harvest time - a severe shortage of high-skilled laborers for years.

A worker in hi-tech farm in Lam Dong Province (Photo: SGGP)

A worker in hi-tech farm in Lam Dong Province (Photo: SGGP)

Covering 32 hectare with hi-tech agricultural areas of 11 hectare, Dalat GAP Company was certified as one of enterprises applying technology in planting vegetables in 2012. However, the company was facing numerous obstacles, including the lack of high-quality human resources.
Company director Engineer Le Van Cuong said at present the company hires six technicians and 56 workers to take care and harvest veggies, chilly, strawberries, and tomatoes; all workers even some graduates from agriculture colleges have received re-training at first.
In reality, the large-scale companies usually admit trainee students to assess their passion for farming before deciding to recruit them. Truong Phuc’s 2.5 hectare farm in Da Lat Town has hired 12 workers for growing, harvesting and postharvest handling.
Company director To Quang Dung said that all workers were re-trained adding that currently, there is abundance of unskilled workers and scarce of hi-skilled employees who grasp technologies, Dung moaned.
30 year old man Le Quoc Duc said he faced difficulties in grasping farming techniques; accordingly, he spent six months learning things such as increasing or decreasing nutrition supplement, how to pick up veggies and preserve. Now, he is himself working on his 4,000 meter square land with four other unskilled laborers.
Demand for hi-skilled employees in farming becomes enormous when residents in Lam Dong province expand their land for planting veggies. At present, 50,000 hectare of high-tech farms make up 18.2 percent of total agricultural land resulting in excessive demand for skilled laborers.
The provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development said that from 7,000 to 10,000 employees in farming need to receive training.
In 2012 - 2017, 332 training courses have been opened to provide training of agricultural techniques including fish breeding, mulberry growing, silkworm raising, planting herbs, agricultural produce processing to 10,640 people.
In its project to provide vocational training to local laborers in three months for the period 2016 – 2020, Lam Dong Province targets to train 35,000 and 70 percent of them will work on farming. Nevertheless, there has been no vocational training program to provide skilled employees for hi-tech farms.
Engineer Le Van Cuong said that most people exchange their experience in farming while just a few people are trained to work in high-tech farms. Worse, colleges have used out-of-date textbooks; consequently, graduates are unable to fulfil requirements.

By DOAN KIEN -Translated by UYEN PHUONG

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