Building Digitally Powered Countryside

8:23:03 AM | 1/17/2022

Digital transformation is a new content of the National Target Program on New Rural Development. This technology solution is aimed at building a smart countryside in Vietnam to improve quality, efficiency and sustainability criteria. Smart countryside will include smart government, smart people and smart behaviors.

Digital transformation is one of the key contents of the National Target Program on New Rural Development towards the smart countryside. A lot of digital transformation activities are being applied in new rural programs from organizing conferences and webinars on OCOP training, countryside tourism, talk shows, forums, trade fairs and trade promotion events, built based on virtual reality and augmented reality. The COVID-19 epidemic has strongly affected the economic and social life of the whole country and many people. The pandemic has changed the way we live and work. Digital transformation is a requirement, a must in today's life. Smartphones are increasingly widely used in economic and social life. Rural areas cannot stay behind in knowledge revolution and Revolution 4.0.

Despite different understandings of significance and methods to apply technology in new rural construction or apply digital transformation in new rural construction, digital transformation needs to be deployed and scaled up in many rural development activities, from environmental pollution control, security and order, countryside investment inspection and supervision, consultation on customer satisfaction in new rural construction. Digital transformation will promote better quality, more efficient and more sustainable new rural construction. Smart new countryside indicators will be built and launched after 2025.

Mr. Nguyen Minh Tien, Director of the Central Coordination Office for New Countryside Construction, emphasized that applying digital transformation to agriculture in general and new rural construction, in particular, is advocated by the Government and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development over the past 10 years of deploying the National Target Program on New Rural Development. The office has accelerated the “Digital transformation in new rural construction toward smart new countryside in 2021 – 2025” project to improve the outcome of the target program, upgrade production and business methods for farmers, cooperatives and enterprises. The scheme will develop four specific goals by 2025: Building digital government, digital economy, digital society, and national smart countryside index in 2026 - 2030.

On digital economy in new rural construction, the project targets to have, by 2025, 70% of commune-level units and 60% of district-level units to complete digital transformation in OCOP product management, monitoring, evaluation and classification; 70% of commune-level units and 60% of district-level units to apply e-commerce for OCOP products; 70% of commune-level units and 60% of district-level units to complete information technology and digital transformation application to online community tourism management. In the digital society in new rural construction, 50% of commune-level units and 40% of district-level units will complete an online system to provide essential services; 50% of commune-level units and 40% of district-level units to complete an online public feedback system where on public and community satisfaction with local government is reflected.

Carrying out the National Target Program on New Rural Development in 2016-2020, Thua Thien Hue province also piloted the construction of smart commune model in Vinh Hung commune, Phu Loc district and Quang Tho commune, Quang Dien district. Mr. Nguyen Dinh Duc Director of Thua Thien Hue Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that the pilot model was in the first steps, but showed some advantages: Supporting commune-level administration through smart commune-level monitoring and administration unit that helps the communal government cover social security, safety and order in the countryside; applying science and technology to agricultural production, environmental forecast and production data sharing monitoring for scientific and rigorous management and administration.

According to Mr. Nguyen Minh Tien, a smart village/commune is a community of rural hamlets, villages and communes using digital-based solutions, utilizing local strengths and opportunities for sustainable development, gradually narrowing the rural-urban gap and improving the economic, social and environmental conditions in rural areas. However, developing a comprehensive model requires human, financial, and time resources to adapt and apply appropriately. Given existing resources in Vietnam, it is difficult to develop an overall smart village model in the short term but piloting and deploying smart villages will depend on local conditions, resources and potential to choose to deploy one or more specific components including Smart institutions; smart resources; smart infrastructure; smart service, and smart production and business

On proposed solutions for smart villages/communes, it is very important to develop and perfect the policy system. Besides, it is necessary to develop digital infrastructure and digital data and accelerate digital transformation in building smart villages/communes, he added.

By Minh Ngoc, Vietnam Business Forum