Agricultural mechanisation in Mekong Delta discussed hinh anh 1At the event (Photo:

Can Tho (VNA) – The fourth annual Mekong Delta investment forum (MekongInvest 2016) took place in Can Tho city on November 11 to introduce new technologies for the agricultural sector.

According to Vo Hung Dung, Director of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s branch in Can Tho, the Mekong Delta is dubbed as the biggest agricultural region in the country that contributes over 50 percent of food output, nearly 70 percent of seafood exports, 90 percent of rice exports, 41 percent of agricultural production value, and 20 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP).

However, the per capita local income has not yet matched with the regional contributions since a majority of farmers still apply traditional cultivation methods and dependence on the weather conditions, he said, noting that the rate of mechanisation in rice harvesting only reached 65 percent while other breeding techniques remain poor.

Each year, rice growers suffer from post-harvest losses of between 3.2 – 3.6 trillion VND (143 million USD – 161 million USD), or 12 percent of the total output, equivalent to 2.16 million tonnes of rice.

The limited application of advanced equipment in the processing stage also makes it difficult for locally-made products to make inroads into choosy markets.

Vice Chairman of the Can Tho People’s Committee Truong Quang Hoai Nam said farmers in the delta could not afford to buy modern machineries and it is difficult for them to operate such machines due to complicated maintenance.

Therefore, local authorities will prioritise machines and production lines which are suitable with locals’ cultivation habits and budget, he added.

In addition to existing advantages such as strong economic growth, improved infrastructure and transport system, and young workforce, the Mekong Delta city will reform administrative procedures and devise more incentives, he said.

Chief Representative of the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) Takimoto Koji said Japanese firms will expand investment in local factories instead of importing machinery from Japan, which aims to reduce production cost and create jobs for locals.

Japan is also keen to cooperate with Vietnam in producing machinery parts, he said.

Second-hand machines with high capacity and cost will be imported from Japan after quality examination, while smart and small-designed ones will be developed and applied in the delta to help farmers take on dangerous jobs, he noted.

The MekongInvest is held annually by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Investment and Trade Promotion Centre in the Mekong Delta.

This is the second time the event has been organised in Can Tho, following the forums in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.

This year’s event drew 350 delegates from embassies, consulate generals, and business associations from Japan, the UK, the US, the Netherlands, Singapore, Australia, Canada, and the Republic of Korea with 50 agricultural projects worth over 1.38 billion USD calling for investment.-VNA