10:06:24 PM | 27/3/2012
In the context of declining agricultural land to make way for industry, trade and service developments, high-tech agricultural development is considered to be a strategic direction of Can Tho City in the near future.
According to Can Tho Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, in June 2008, the City People's Committee issued Decision No. 1294/QD-UBND on the approval of constructing and developing the program of high tech agriculture of Can Tho to 2010 and vision to 2020 (referred to as the program of high tech agriculture). On that basis, the Department has developed the program contents, which are mainly building a network of three high tech agriculture zones, 3 stations (satellite sites of zones) and 12 priority projects carried out with total estimated investment of VND 3,138.280 billion.
The high tech agricultural zones include the Centre (zone 1) located at the Agricultural Breeding Center in Thoi Lai district (with projected area of 20ha). The Centre will collaborate with research institutes, universities and enterprises to absorb and apply new technologies to improve production, plant breeding, pets ... Two supporting areas (Zone 2 and Zone 3) located in Song Hau Farm and Co Do Farm, are responsible for high-tech applications in the field of mass-produced varieties, cultivation process, farming, conservation, stored and processed agricultural products. Along with that, these areas will coordinate with the Center to implement applications in trial production, exhibition, trade and services. In addition, the zones also establish a center for breeding poultry and fresh water seafood; supplying applications services, transferring technology to local people; applying new technology in seedlings production, raising freshwater aquaculture; completing the rice processing consistent with world safety and food hygiene standards (EU, the United States); building the distribution system of high- class rice in local and foreign markets.
The three high tech agricultural stations are expectedly located in Thot Not district, Vinh Thanh district and Phong Dien district. The stations are satellites of high tech agricultural zones and conduct functions of informing and promoting products and services of the zones, transfer and replicate models of high-tech applications through methods to encourage agriculture and fishery. From now to 2013, three high tech agricultural zones will implement 12 agricultural projects divided into 3 main groups: Project group of developing urban agriculture and ecological agriculture; project group of managing quality and standards of agricultural and fishery products; project group of supporting production, technology transfer and commercialization of high tech agricultural products.
Currently, the Can Tho Department of Agriculture and Rural Development is working with the Planning and Design of Agriculture Institute Division, Mekong Delta Rice Institute, Agricultural Sciences Services Center - University of Can Tho to conduct the planning for two high tech agricultural zones (Zone 2, Zone 3), set up investment projects for Zone 1 and 4 priority projects. The planning and projects are expectedly completed in 2012 and submitted to competent authorities for approval. During the implementation of high tech agriculture program, Can Tho faces some difficulties such as: Although Law on high technologies has taken effect since 1st July, 2009, there is a lack of decrees and circulars guiding the implementation of the Law; necessary capital for investing in applications of high tech agricultural productions is large, but investment capacity of the State budget, enterprises, households and farms still face many difficulties; human resources for high tech agricultural development does not meet the requirements .... To overcome these obstacles, the Can Tho Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has a written request to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to fund construction of high tech database and information infrastructure; create favorable conditions for organizations and individuals to access, use, exchange information on high technology; also consider the allocation of capital for infrastructure for 3 high tech agriculture zones and projects belonged to the Program after planning and projects are approved by authorities.
Mr Pham Van Quynh, Director of Can Tho Department of Agriculture and Rural Development said high tech agriculture is not only a tool to support the development of animal and plant productions but also a clue about the consultation, technical assistance, transfer of technology, production process for farmers and businesses. Since then, the further aim is to help raise economic value achieved per unit area of cultivation, animal husbandry, fishery to many times. To advance to the high tech agriculture, four strategic objectives are necessary: personnel training, transferring application of advanced techniques for target products, mobilizing domestic and foreign human resources; expanding consumption markets. Above all, the most important objectives are to train quality human resources and to expand markets. Recognizing this problem, for a long time the City has always supported as well as cooperated with the Institutes - Schools - Scientists - Inventors ... to incubate high technologies in the field of agriculture - forestry – fishery; implement preferential conditions to attract investors (domestic and foreign) in network of high tech agricultural zones and stations.
Currently, Can Tho agricultural sector has commenced production linkage groups to build one-breed fields, each group produces 30-50ha associated with the "four houses". This activity has created large material areas, and companies have signed consumption agreements in districts of Vinh Thanh, Thoi Lai, Co Do . In addition, application of technical advances in the direction of GAP has been accelerated, and implementation groups (each group of 25-30 farmers) are formed in key rice districts of the city. Mr Quynh said that the area of the Song Hau Farm and Co Do Agriculture Company is a huge area of rice production with experienced farmers and it is truly an ideal area to develop the high tech agriculture for the city in the future. If it is realized, Can Tho City will become the center of providing agricultural services, plants and animals for the whole region.