Farmers in the Mekong Delta Province of Dong Thap gazed in admiration at pesticide-spraying drone a few years ago. Nevertheless, pesticide-spraying drone is becoming familiar with residents in Dong Thap Muoi District of Dong Thap Province.
The advancement of technology has been bringing many facilities in farming. Hi-tech agriculture has largely been known to farmers in the Mekong Delta whereas they were surprised at Director of Rynan Agrifood Company Dr. Nguyen Thanh My’s technique of using smartphone sensor to control water resource three years ago.
Nowadays, smart water monitoring system has been built across the Mekong Delta region; smallholder farmers can use their smartphones to implement checks the quality of river water in real time through various sensors.
Furthermore, farmers can utilize sensors on smartphones including disease detection and smart pest control systems which help farmers knowing what kinds of insect will ruin their crop and the density of insects.
Additionally, smartphones are equipped with various sensors including accelerometers, GPS, light sensors, and temperature sensors, farmers can control a handful of tasks which are performed in the field, that is, seeding, weeding, fertilizing, and watering with their smartphones.
Chairman of Ecology Farming Corporation (Ecofarm) in in Dong Thap Province Nguyen Hong Quang said that the company grows various kinds of melons and ornamental flowers on 3 hectares of greenhouses farm with Iranian automated watering system for serving travelers who observe farm activities such as harvesting melon, pollinating flowers, propagating flowers, bee raising in experience tours.
Not only enterprise but also local administrations take heed of high tech application in farming to increase profitability by adding value to farm products so as to help improve farmers’ living condition. Dong Thap Province at the heart of the Mekong Delta has been pioneering in shifting from agricultural production to agricultural economics.
Party Chief of Dong Thap Province Le Minh Hoan said agricultural production refers to quantity while value-added agriculture refers to increasing the economic value of a commodity through particular production processes, e.g., organic produce, or through regionally branded products that increase consumer appeal and willingness to pay a premium over similar but undifferentiated products.
Therefore, Dong Thap has been paying attention to high technology application in agricultural production to increase the economic value of a commodity for recent years.
Deputy Chairman of People’s Committee in An Giang Province Le Van Nung said that from 2015, the province has invested over VND90 billion (US$ 389,927) in researches and technological application in all fields. Of 146 scientific researches in the province, half of them have been for agricultural development.
With regard to value-addition, An Giang has spent more on innovative postharvest technologies including freezing to preserve its major agricultural products such as mango, phong cake and herbal medicine.
High technology application in agricultural production has initially gained positive achievements. Realizing that the benefits and potential of high technology application in agricultural production, provinces in the Mekong Delta have mobilized all resources for agriculture so as to make breakthroughs in the field.
Pesticide-spraying droneBac Lieu Province has built a high-tech 419-hectare zone worth VND3.2 trillion (US$140 million) which was expected to help Bac Lieu become the national hub for the shrimp industry.
The 5,200-hectare hi-tech agricultural zone in Hau Giang Province is considered as a hub of science and technology in agriculture. Sections in the high-tech agricultural zone is the place to produce the province’s key products.
Lately, Long An Province has basically established high-tech vegetable zone including 10 cooperatives and 30 cooperative groups. From these cooperatives, models of high-tech farms have been implemented widely in the province on the area of 1,500 hectares.
Being a head of the Ministry of Science and Technology which is a lead in supporting farmers in the Mekong Delta region to access to the Industry 4.0 and technological applications in agriculture, Minister Chu Ngoc Anh said that leading enterprises play a significant role in establishing integrated supply chains which are attached closely with the region’s orientation of material planning and formation of production models for synchronous technological applications.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, investment opportunity in agriculture in the Mekong Delta is still huge.
Presently, the government and ministries, competent agencies have implemented preferential policies for investors in the field of high-tech agriculture by exempting or lowering land use fee and land lease as well as supporting credit, technological transfer and applications.
In the upcoming time, the Ministry will continue adopting specifically good policies to attract more investment in high-tech agriculture in the region.