Digital transformation way out for agricultural sector amid difficulties

Fast digital transformation is considered the best way for the Vietnamese agricultural sector to overcome difficulties to recover and develop in the post-pandemic period, thus affirming its role as a key pillar of the economy, according to experts.

 

Amid challenges from climate change, market fluctuations and changes in consumption trends, the sector is required to increase the proportion of digital agriculture in the economy.

Meanwhile, the data-driven digital transformation in agriculture and agricultural management is expected to help boost the sector’s growth through better market forecasts and planning.

Deputy Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son said that facing adverse impacts of COVID-19, businesses and farmers were fully aware of strengthening the application of smart and digital technologies to maintain stability in production and farm produce supply, thus preparing for post-pandemic recovery and sustainable development.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Minh Hoan said that along with optimising advantages and local resources for the development of the multiple value agriculture and trademark building, Viet Nam should build a data system and make its agricultural data and information more transparent to reach more markets and create a new breakthrough for the sector.

Many experts said that together with negative impacts, COVID-19 also brought about chances for the Vietnamese agricultural sector to speed up digital transformation and write its name in the international agricultural supply chain.

According to David John Whitehead from the Australian Business Association in Viet Nam (Auscham) Australians are very open to Vietnamese farm produce, which means the chance for Viet Nam to export more agricultural products to the market is high.

Currently, Vietnamese agricultural products are exported to many choosy markets, and the Australian market is similar. However, for consumers in Australia, manufacturers in Viet Nam need to build their own brand, with quality ensured, so as to win consumers' confidence that Vietnamese products are safe and of high quality.

In order to increase exports of key farm produce, closer coordination among ministries, sectors and localities in strengthening digital transformation and trade promotion as well as market connection is crucial.

However, many experts pointed to the need for Viet Nam to focus more on preparing high-quality human resources.

Associate Prof. Tran Dang Xuan from Japan’s Hiroshima University said that many Vietnamese farmers still hesitated to renovate their cultivation practices and approach new farming techniques.

He stressed the need for the Government to focus more on developing digital agriculture, while strengthening communication among farmers to help them understand the benefits of the process, and equipping them with more knowledge and skills in conducting online transactions. 

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