Advancing Digital Transformation to Boost Agricultural Consumption

10:55:04 AM | 11/6/2021

Very vulnerable to epidemics and natural disasters, agricultural consumption, including litchee consumption of Bac Giang province, is becoming a matter of great interest to many people. It is time to form effective agricultural connection and consumption models to ensure safety and efficiency.

From new opportunities for Vietnamese agricultural products

The Covid-19 pandemic outbreak has seriously undermined conventional ways of trading, distribution and export of agricultural products of Vietnam. In that condition, besides actively carrying out traditional consumption plans, promoting domestic consumption and export markets, localities are now paying great attention to trade promotion and e-commerce. This approach has opened a new door, facilitated agricultural consumption, and therefore found out big distributors for local products.

In early 2021, the Ministry of Industry and Trade effectively launched agricultural consumption programs in Son La, Ben Tre and Hai Duong provinces through e-commerce platforms. Voso.vn e-commerce platform (Voso.vn) of Viettel Post started selling Bac Giang litchee from May 28, 2021, with the goal of consuming 100 tons of fruit a day. In Son La, agricultural products such as plum and mango in Yen Chau (Son La) were also officially sold on the Shopee e-commerce platform in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City on May 28, 2021. Currently, Hai Duong also has six agricultural products listed on e-commerce platforms like Cam Dong chicken eggs, Chi Linh hill chicken, Thanh Ha guava, Gia Loc cabbage and kohlrabi and Thanh Ha lychee. Products sold on e-commerce platforms are supported for origin traceability, label and information transparency by the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency (Vietrade).

Most recently, Grab also announced the GrabConnect Project to connect safe and quality agricultural products and specialties from farmers to consumers across the country through technology applications. GrabConnect also launched the first program aimed at selling 300 tons of Luc Ngan lychee of Bac Giang through its super-app ecosystem.

Perhaps, powered by digital application, selling agricultural products on e-commerce platforms has brought many opportunities for Vietnamese agricultural products. Besides, farmers can access and use a new consumption method.

Speeding up agricultural digital transformation

On June 3, 2020, the Prime Minister issued Decision No. 749/QD-TTG on National Digital Transformation Program to 2025, with a vision to 2030, whereby agriculture is defined as one of priority industries. Selling agricultural products on e-commerce floors is not only a temporary solution in the pandemic time and avoid spontaneous “bailout” to realize the goal.

At a recent cooperation signing ceremony in support of agricultural digital transformation and connection between the Agency for Enterprise Development (AED) under the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the Agro Processing and Market Development Authority (Agrotrade) under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Investment Trade Promotion Center (ITPC) under the Vietnam Cooperative Alliance (VCA), and Grab, Mr. Le Manh Hung, EAD Director, said, digital transformation in business has been defined by the Party, the Government and Prime Minister as a solution and an inevitable trend to improve capacity, competitive advantage, existence and development of enterprises.

In January 2021, the Ministry of Planning and Investment issued a business support program in digital transformation in 2021-2025. The agricultural sector is a prioritized field because it is the key economic sector. This cooperation program will help solve long-lasting problems of the agricultural sector and improve agricultural production, processing and consumption to avoid undesired public bailouts in successful crops in the future.

ITPC Director Vu Quang Phong said, digital transformation is an inevitable and appropriate trend in the current context to survive and develop. In the coming time, ITPC will actively carry out measures to support cooperatives, scale up digital transformation, deploy IT application projects in management, including building application platforms for digital transformation in business, launching in alliances in all 63 provinces and cities.

In the Industry 4.0 era, there is no other way for businesses, cooperatives and people to access and apply technology to change the game. However, in fact, selling agricultural products through e-commerce platforms in particular and digital transformation in agriculture in general are still facing numerous difficulties. Farmers' knowledge about online business is still limited. Therefore, it is necessary to have policies to encourage digital application in agricultural production and to have long-term support for farmers. If implemented in a methodical and scientific way, Vietnam will be eligible to create a strong digital agriculture and contribute to developing the sharing economy.

By Thu Ha, Vietnam Business Forum