12 Apr 2019
The Ho Chi Minh City Farmers Association and Investment and Trade Promotion Centre met on Tuesday to seek ways to apply high-tech to the city’s key agricultural products, with the aim of becoming a southern hub for the supply of crop and animal strains.
This year’s key agricultural products are vegetables, flowers, ornamental trees, pigs, dairy cows, brackish-water shrimp and ornamental fish.
Nguyen Van Tui of the Farmers Association said that only about 800ha out of more than 3,300ha of the city’s agricultural land uses hi-tech methods that meet Vietnamese good agricultural practice (VietGAP) standards. The small scale of farms and lack of funds have been barriers to application.
Many farmers in the city produce agricultural products on less than 1ha of land on plots scattered around the city. Tui said the city should arrange for large-scale farms.
Another barrier to high-tech use includes initial investment costs and the time needed for farmers to break even. Investment of 500 million dong (about $22,000) per hectare is needed for vegetables and flowers. And it takes five to 10 years to break even, according to Tui.
“The city should focus on research and bio-technology to increase productivity and improve the quality of crop seeds and animal breeds,” he said.