Consumers buy Vietnam's dragon fruits at a market in Sydney (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The Vietnamese agricultural sector should find out a right way of approach, consider market as the target and market standards as quality measurement to help agricultural products better meet both domestic and international market requirements.

The suggestion was made by Minister, Chairman of the Government Office Mai Tien Dung at a Vietnam Economic Forum discussing solutions to develop trading of Vietnamese farm produce in Hanoi on June 5.

Vietnam has high potential to develop its agriculture sector as the country has exported to 180 markets worldwide, including many choosy markets. Export turnover of agricultural products is expected to exceed 40 billion USD this year.

Experts to the forum agreed that new technologies are key to advancing the agriculture sector in Vietnam, as they can boost products’ value to make them more competitive on the global market.

The application of technologies in the sector is needed as the market has shown rising demand for clean products with traceable origins.

According to Terry Chan, Chairman of Hong Kong E-commerce Supply Chain Association (HKeCSC), blockchain technologies should be deployed as much as possible in agriculture to connect Vietnamese products to the world market.

As e-commerce is developing rapidly and new trading platforms are used across the world, agricultural outputs must meet customers’ demands and ensure the quality of the whole production chain, he said.

The Vietnamese agricultural sector is trying to integrate into the world’s market, but it has encountered some challenges regarding product quality, supply chains and transparency of the product, Chan said.

The sector should propose the Government allow advanced technologies to be applied to resolve existing issues and make safe, high-quality, standardised and traceable products, said Vu Truong Ca, chairman of the management board of Lina Network.

Though the government has been giving strong support to the agriculture sector and has issued policies to help farmers, the sector has yet to meet the market requirements, he said.

Blockchain technology is strong enough to change the world in the future. It is currently in the early stages, similar to the internet 25 years ago, so Vietnam is capable of exploiting this technology and applying it in the agriculture sector, Ca stated.

According to him, Vietnam has big advantages in mathematics and technology, proven by its high rankings in international math competitions. As the whole world has the same starting point in this technology, Vietnam could take the lead.

Dao Ngoc Chien, Deputy Director of the High Technology Department under the Ministry of Science and Technology, said that the ministry will accompany businesses in this issue.

He said his department is drafting a development plan and submitting it to the ministry this month. The draft plan contains four topics: evaluation of the fourth industrial revolution and its impacts in some key sectors, and key technological applications for economic industries.

Dairy maker TH Group is a typical example of successfully using high-tech applications in businesses, said Vo Van Quang, Deputy General Director of the Bac A Joint Stock Commercial Bank.

He said that the bank in 2009 started funding dairy maker TH Group to develop cattle farms. However, TH Group was able to apply Israeli technologies for cattle raising, from grass development to attaching chips to cows to keep track of cattle’s health and productivity. Thus the dairy producer’s outputs meet standards in domestic and overseas markets.

To develop farm produce production, Minister Mai Tien Dung stressed the need to solve land-related issues.

Farmers should let out their agricultural land to businesses in order to facilitate labour restructuring and the application of technologies in production in rural areas, he suggested.

According to him, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc will chair a national conference on hi-tech agriculture and land accumulation in late June.-VNA