Agriculture will be a key factor for Vietnam’s economy to develop breakthroughs in a sustainable way. Digital transformation to develop digital agriculture is one of the keys to help farmers produce quality agricultural products at the lowest cost but at the highest price.
On the morning of June 18 in Hanoi, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and the Ministry of Information and Communications (TT & TT) coordinated to organize an online conference on digital transformation in the field of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Agricultural colleges help farmers to produce quality agricultural products, at the lowest cost but at the highest price.
At the conference, Deputy Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Huy Dung gave an imaginary example of a traditional farmer and a farmer who implements a trade union.
Accordingly, there is a traditional man who is a farming farmer. Mr. Nam is still Mr. Nam, still farming, but in a different way.
In the pre-seasonal period, Mr. Nam traditionally has no credit history and no bank account, so he takes personal savings and borrows from relatives to prepare for the crop. .
Nam CDS uses a mobile application on his smartphone to apply for a loan, using his payment history to guarantee terms. Loan money is transferred to mobile money account.
Mr. Nam traditionally grows rice, because this is the variety he grows, has experience and planted last year.
Nam Cao uses a crop consulting application developed by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development on his smartphone to select crops with the most potential, and is supported in making decisions based on data on nutritional status. the land where Mr. Nam cultivates, predicting the local weather, and even market demand and agricultural prices for this crop.
Mr. Nam traditionally does not have and does not know how to use a tractor, so he uses the rudimentary tools and cattle of an acquaintance to help.
As for Mr. Nam CDS, he opened his phone and chose a search application to rent a tractor, just like people in the city choose Uber and Grab. He chooses the date and time that his family plans to plow and find a household in another commune confirming their agreement to provide the service.
During the growing season, Mr. Nam traditionally goes to the local market to buy pesticides and chemical fertilizers, but the agent he usually buys back all the products he needs, so he can’t afford them.
And Mr. Nam CDS went to the e-commerce platform for agricultural tools and searched for a store specializing in selling agricultural chemicals. He quickly found and ordered the exact chemical at a very reasonable price compared to the dealer he usually bought from. He paid and chose to receive the goods at home without having to go to pick them up.
Pests and diseases have been particularly bad this season and have destroyed a portion of the area where Mr. Nam traditionally cultivates before he realizes and takes measures to prevent it.
And Mr. Nam CDS received a notification from the crop consulting application, providing information about pests and diseases that are likely to affect his farming area in the next few weeks and recommending him some prevention options. disease to avoid crop damage.
When harvesting, the traditional man urgently stores agricultural products in his small warehouse.
And Mr. Nam CDS received a notification from the crop consulting application reminding him of the optimal time to harvest based on the price forecast and the measured maturity of the crop.
In the post-crop period , Mr. Nam traditionally carries agricultural products to sell to local traders. This purchased agricultural product is depreciated due to good harvest. He received the money and most of it took it away to pay off the loan. He said to himself: Don’t do it next season.
Nam CDS sells his agricultural products on an e-commerce platform. This platform also takes care of logistics and transportation.
The above example shows the difference between traditional farmers and community farmers. It also illustrates that community is changing the way of doing things, changing the operating model thanks to data and digital technology.
From the above example, Deputy Minister Nguyen Huy Dung presented his views on digital agriculture. Accordingly, in Vietnam, agriculture accounts for 14% of the country’s GDP, accounting for nearly 40% of the labor force. Agriculture has grown tremendously, has become the backbone of the economy. The results achieved are very proud.
But the challenge is how to improve efficiency, improve efficiency, increase income for farmers?
From this perspective, the room for breakthrough agricultural development in the coming period is huge. Needless to say, agriculture will be the key factor for Vietnam’s economy to develop in a sustainable way.
Our goal in short is how farmers produce quality agricultural products, with the lowest cost but sell the highest price.
College to develop digital agriculture is one of the keys to successfully realize this goal.
Digital agriculture from the perspective of digital economy
According to Deputy Minister Dung, instead of giving an academic concept, let’s look at digital agriculture from a few specific perspectives.
In digital agriculture, besides traditional means of production, farmers use more digital materials, which are digital data and digital technology. Therefore, farmers will have to have some more knowledge and skills in trade, technology, biology, not just production skills. Instead of simply “looking at the sky, looking at the earth, looking at the clouds”, the farmer will “look at the data, look at the data and look at the data”. Instead of simply buying seeds and fertilizers, farmers buy data. And the State can help all farmers in Vietnam by making basic data available and free.
In digital agriculture, besides selling agricultural products, farmers can also sell experiences. The way we see should change, instead of just looking at agricultural production, let’s see more of the agricultural economy, instead of just the agricultural economy, let’s see more of the agricultural digital economy. Karma. Instead of just finding ways to meet the need of “eating to fill up”, let’s meet more needs of “eating well” personalization, the needs of a small group of different users. College, digital technology allows to solve this problem. This is digital agriculture.
For example, a farmer simply sells a bunch of bananas, or a bunch of bananas at a market, where sellers and buyers meet face-to-face. By putting that banana bunch on the e-commerce platform, the farmer has provided customers with a new experience: Being able to buy a bunch of bananas without having to go to any market. By attaching Internet of Things sensors and surveillance cameras to banana trees from a young age, farmers can sell an entire banana tree, providing customers with a new experience: Self-monitoring, even self-monitoring. I give a recipe for taking care of a banana tree from when it was a baby until the time of harvesting the banana tree without having a garden at all.
In digital agriculture, digital farmers can overcome the inherent weakness of millennial farmers. That is “the house lights are on, everyone’s fields are worked”. Because the more digital data is shared, the more valuable it is, the more it is shared, the bigger it gets instead of getting smaller. And so, in digital agriculture, farmers will quickly see the benefits, help form an ecosystem, instead of small and fragmented production, and help form value chains instead of merely is the chain link.
Digital agriculture from the perspective of digital government
The above perspectives are looking at digital agriculture from the point of view of the digital economy. So what if we look at digital agriculture from the point of view of digital government?
On June 15, 2021, the Prime Minister signed and promulgated Decision No. 942/QD-TTg approving the e-government development strategy towards digital government in the period of 2021-2025, with a vision to 2030.
Accordingly, the digital government has all safe operations on the digital environment, has a redesigned operating model and operates based on data and digital technology, to be able to provide more quality services. , make more timely decisions, issue better policies, use resources more optimally, create development, lead the national community, effectively solve major problems in development and business management socio-economic.
In digital agriculture, the agriculture and rural development sector provides 100% level 4 public services, presides over the development of digital platforms serving 9 million farmers, open data and provide open data on agriculture, connecting people farmers and businesses, forecast the market, popularize skills for people.
Colleges in Agriculture and Rural Development, in addition to digital agriculture, digital farmers, and digital rural areas. Digital countryside is also a new, undefined concept. Here, I would like to share some results of phase 1 of the college in Yen Hoa commune, Yen Mo district, Ninh Binh province. The implementation of community colleges at the commune level can be considered as part of the new rural construction program.
From the above perspectives, it can be seen that digital agriculture is an old and new concept. What digital agriculture is essentially depends on how we think and how we do it. Therefore, the views above are certainly incomplete. Each of us can add our own perspectives.
How do colleges help solve some specific problems for the agriculture and rural development sector?
Vietnam has a large number of farming households, but the farming scale is small, the investment is small, and the equipment is old and outdated. This problem leads to the weakness of lack of cooperation, fragmented and small production, and dependence on intermediary traders. Because of the large number and dependence on middlemen, we often encounter the problem of competition between the farmers themselves. Competing with each other to buy inputs, such as fertilizers and pesticides, should pay high prices. Competing with each other to sell output agricultural products, so they have to lower prices. Crowd effect, one person pulling the other, the input is bad but the output is also bad, easy to be manipulated and taken advantage of by traders.
Owners can solve the problem with electronic exchanges, eliminating intermediaries, connecting directly between sellers and buyers. The essence of college, of digital technology is connection.
Farmers can solve the problem of agricultural product prices, allowing to collect data on prices on the market in many different localities and countries, compare prices automatically, update with daily frequency, weekly or monthly and even predict future prices.
Farmers can solve problems with collaborative platforms, allowing farmers in the same industry to connect with each other regardless of geographical distance. Rural farmers do not have to go to the city to apply for a job at processing factories but can still participate in that value chain in their own hometown.
The second problem is that in Vietnam, farmers still mainly rely on qualitative experience, less on quantitative data, and almost no information on parameters on their own cultivated land. like weather, light, precipitation or minerals.
This problem leads to the weakness that farmers do not know about their natural advantages or do not know how to protect their long-term interests, but only run after short-term interests, for example, unbalance the ecosystem. ecology, natural environment, impact on biodiversity that nature takes a long process to accumulate.
Farmers can solve the problem by having an agricultural digital data platform for farmers to know and make the best use of their advantages. Public agencies can generate useful data for farmers by analyzing soil conditions, satellite images, weather data or other factors. The Soil Health Cards initiative with 158 million land health cards for each region in India has improved farmers’ productivity by up to 40% over the last 5 years in this way.
Having the data also helped develop a new service, a crop insurance service for farmers. For example, Kenya offers a weather insurance service that pays farmers if certain adverse weather conditions occur. On the basis of using 30 weather stations automatically collect weather data, thereby determining the cases of receiving compensation.
The third problem is that post-harvest processing and preservation in Vietnam is only done on a small and rudimentary scale, leading to rapid deterioration of agricultural products, short duration, and quality when reaching consumers. use is reduced.
Colleges can solve the problem by using sensor devices to collect information about the storage environment, then process and analyze it. Data after analysis will be sent to the notification screen for drivers or warehouse managers according to service quality standards.
Colleges can help trace the origin of agricultural products, allowing transparency in the process and quality standards of agricultural products. Good transparency in product quality is a solution to help genuine farmers sell products with their efforts, and also a solution to help increase the quality of agricultural products, and to sustain them. steady.
The fourth problem is slow shipping time, high transportation costs, leading to reduced competitiveness. CDS can solve the problem by connecting with carriers, optimizing warehouse locations and delivery routes.
The final problem is that Vietnamese farmers are still not easy to access credits for production. Farmers can solve the problem by deploying mobile money that allows farmers to easily access credit with just the smartphone they have. Through transaction and credit histories, farmers have access to loans with suitable interest rates.
On that basis, Deputy Minister Nguyen Huy Dung proposed a number of specific actions that the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Ministry of Information and Communications can consider and implement immediately as follows:
The first is the working hub. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development will soon appoint and consolidate a specialized unit on community colleges, soon develop a Community Action Plan in the field of agriculture and rural development with a focus on developing the agricultural digital economy. The Ministry of Information and Communications can help build and work together through a joint working group.
The second is promoting readiness. The two ministries assigned focal points to coordinate and promote the initiative of universalizing digital infrastructure in the direction that each farmer household has a smartphone, each farmer household has a fiber optic cable, universalizing digital identities for farmers. In this story, in fact, the role of cooperatives is very important, it is necessary to focus on investment, support and capacity building of cooperatives.
The third is skill dissemination. The two ministries collaborated to implement the initiative to popularize digital skills for farmers in the direction of propaganda and dissemination through grassroots media, organizing training courses, training and granting certificates of skills for farmers. farmers through digital platforms, online training, continuously developing knowledge for farmers. In short, we must realize that farming is a profession, but if it is a profession, we must professionalize it. In my personal perception, this is a traditional profession, this is a modern profession, this is a noble profession and this is a profession of eternity.
Fourth is the launch of the AgriTech initiative. A farmer alone cannot promote self-government. On the one hand, the two ministries coordinated to launch a wave of technology enterprises serving agriculture and rural development. On the other hand, the two ministries coordinated to launch the wave that each farmer household is an enterprise, an enterprise applying technology.
Fifth is the development of the digital platform. The State does not have enough resources to help millions of farmers in the old way, but the State can help farmers in the new way, in the way of digital technology. The two ministries will coordinate, promote the development and dissemination of a number of important CBT platforms, and in 2021 will announce the Agricultural Digital Data Platform and the Traceability Platform. The State must be the one to lead, connect, orient and provide market information to farmers. Digital platforms will help promote cooperative economic development in agriculture. The two ministries join hands to find, develop and promote digital platforms to serve 9 million farming households, serve the needs of connection and cooperation between farmers, serve to connect 9 million farmer households. with 162 processing enterprises, connecting 9 million farming households with 100 million Vietnamese users,