Promoting Smart, Globally Integrated and Sustainable Agriculture

9:29:51 AM | 21/5/2021

The National Target Program for New Rural Development has become a vibrant movement nationwide, produced many important achievements and realized all targets nearly two years ahead of time, helping raise the people's spiritual and material life, give a facelift to the countryside and improve socio-economic infrastructure.

The second phase of the “whole country works together for the new countryside development” movement in response to the Prime Minister’s call was scaled up with richer contents and more diverse forms to become a popular mass movement. Provinces and cities have launched emulation movements, using many methods that match their practical situations, to realize key tasks: Rearranging land to form larger farming plots, expanding production, building infrastructure and traffic systems, applying science and technology to production, developing organic agriculture and smart agriculture. Central agencies have actively built mechanisms and policies; developed support and incentive programs and plans; and mobilized organizations and individuals to engage in agricultural and rural development investment: Training and transferring scientific and technological advances to farmers; boosting cooperation and market expansion for agricultural products; implementing affiliate programs; and launching vocational training for rural workers.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, new rural development in 2021-2025 must reach a new plane, in a comprehensive and sustainable direction, with a focus placed on improving the quality of rural socioeconomic infrastructure and raising the spiritual and material life and living environment of rural people as compared to the previous period. The country must develop a smart, globally integrated, climate-adaptive agriculture that makes high added value, grows sustainable and supports new countryside development. It must strive to realize the goal of building prosperous agriculture, wealthy peasantry, and a civilized and modern countryside; applying information technology, science and technology, especially digital technology, to narrow the quality of life gap between rural and urban areas.

Mr. Nguyen Minh Tien, Director of the Central Coordination Office for the National Target Program, said, digital transformation is an indispensable trend to build a modern, civilized countryside. Digital transformation and information technology application was also deployed for new countryside construction in some localities but this work remained largely spontaneous. Digital transformation for smart rural development is an essential development trend. Therefore, if we lack innovations and adaptation, the countryside will be left behind. Digital technology has no physical borders and no geographic barriers, all in one marketplace in a flat world. Therefore, if we can foster development, we can reduce the gap between urban and rural areas. For example, in new countryside construction, we have many information technology applications as applied in many localities like installing security camera systems such as Can Tho and Dong Thap instead of security personnel.

Instead of passively letting localities implement the program in their own different ways, we need to take an active, comprehensive approach with appropriate steps and roadmaps to build a more sustainable countryside. In agriculture, there is a need for a good data system concerning cultivated areas, area codes, family codes, bar codes, product digitization for easier control and information. We can assess basic foreseeable impacts on the environment and even analyze the time for fertilizing and controlling diseases to supply, compensate and regulate production, he said.

Recently, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Ministry of Information and Communications put forth digital transformation for new countryside development. This is the first time the two ministries placed digital transformation as a focus content, specifically in the National Target Program for New Rural Development for the 2021-2025 period.

In the coming time, the Minister of Planning and Investment and the Chairman of the Central Appraisal Council will appraise the report on investment policies on digital transformation in new countryside construction. If accelerated, we will be able to overcome some shortcomings and address upcoming challenges for new countryside construction, with the first investment being connectivity infrastructure. Especially for rural areas, 3G and 4G coverage, as well as broadband connectivity remain weak. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Ministry of Information and Communications will unanimously provide 4G and 5G coverage in rural areas, helping local people get connected to the internet at a reasonable cost. The latter set a target that every citizen, every family use a mobile phone, especially smart phones. To do that, it is essential to do well with the core work of building data infrastructure.

By Bao Ngoc, Vietnam Business Forum