Economic Sector

Last updated: Wednesday, May 15, 2019


Removing Land Barriers to Pave the Way for Agriculture 4.0

Posted: Saturday, November 24, 2018

The Central Institute for Economic Management (CIEM) recently organised the workshop "Accessing Agriculture 4.0 in Vietnam: Current Issues and Policy Recommendations".

Industry 4.0 in the agricultural sector is applied in production for high efficiency. In Vietnam, only a few enterprises have applied digitisation in production and business from varieties, cultivation, harvesting, distribution of consumption, self-contained production process. The application of Industry 4.0 helps reduce labour and increase productivity.

First models
Ms Nguyen Thi Luyen, Director of the Commission for Economic Regulation, CIEM, said that agriculture plays an important role in economic development. The trade surplus in agriculture has been increasing, reaching US$8 billion in 2017, and more jobs are created, accounting for over 40 per cent of the labour force working in the economy.

In Vietnam, in recent years, the application of Industry 4.0 in agriculture has accelerated. In some enterprises and cooperatives, farmers have successfully applied smart technology in different stages and sectors of agriculture. VIFARM applies hydroponic technology that are non-irrigated, irrigated, environmentally controlled by computer systems and IOT devices to ensure a good environment for the plant; VINECO uses automatic technology, automatically mechanised and water saving irrigation in greenhouse network; while Bridge Farm Land invests in a closed, automatic agricultural production process.

Ms Luyen said that there have been a number of policies and guidelines that have been laid down to provide a basis for access to and practice of the agriculture 4.0 and many barriers have been removed. However, the gap between the current status and the requirements of the agriculture 4.0 is quite large. The agricultural production models rely on weather and experience; small organisations, fragmented linkage between entities, limited financial resources, and lack of investment capital still describe the overwhelming majority.

Removing farm land area limit
Dr Dinh Dung Sy, Director of Legal Department, Office of the Government, said that the room for agricultural development in Vietnam is very large. If Vietnam does not take advantage of the opportunities in Industry 4.0 to increase productivity and quality of agricultural products, Vietnam will lag behind. Mr Sy said that the priority of agricultural investment to create a breakthrough and sustainable development in agriculture should be identified as the centre of socio-economic development in the next 10 years. Therefore, agri-businesses, farmers and investors should work closely together.

Industry 4.0 is an opportunity for Vietnam to grasp new technologies, narrow the development gap with other countries to restructure agriculture towards a more intelligent, sustainable agriculture that is adaptable to climate change and international economic integration. The limit of farm land that one can own in accordance with the Land Law 2013 is no longer appropriate in the current situation.

Mr Sy also said that it is necessary to revise the current land law provisions on the land limit by the effective allocation of land to users. It is necessary to allow the conversion of land for agricultural purposes in a more open and flexible manner, in particular, the conversion of paddy land into other crops or aquaculture, livestock and poultry that has a higher economic value. Besides, farmers should be encouraged to contribute capital by land through co-operation contracts between enterprises, investors and farmers on the principle that farmers do not lose land.

Sustainable agricultural development
Along with the encouragement of agricultural development 4.0, experts still recommend the continuation and development of traditional agricultural production in areas not suitable for the application of Industry 4.0 for agriculture.

According to Mr Phan Duc Hieu, Deputy President of CIEM, for sustainable agriculture development, there should be a solution to human resources, land, infrastructure, database, finance, market and organisation, and manufacturing. The thinking of farmers and agribusinesses must be changed, and it is necessary to get the market as the basis for determining the quality and quantity to increase the reliability of consumers. At the same time, consumers also need to change their minds in applying the IEP in traceability testing.

The State should develop preferential policies, change the mechanism for cooperatives, and apply modern science and technology to agriculture. Enterprises and cooperatives, and farmers' affiliated organisations who apply science and technology, will be able to gain access to credit capital with preferential interest rates and simple procedures, and will be entitled to the reduction of corporate income tax, agricultural extension, fishery extension, and free information about products and markets. In particular, there should be an organisation that could be a national steering committee for sustainable agriculture development, to direct and organise the implementation of policies.

Nguyen Thanh

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