Vietnam should further promote the application of remote sensing technology in agricultural production, so as to hasten the restructuring of the sector, a Vietnamese official has said.

Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Quoc Doanh made the suggestion during a workshop held in Hanoi on July 30, which focused on benefits reaped through using the technology in rice farming and plans to expand it to other fields in the future.

The sector will firstly apply the technology in forest protection, agricultural land planning and use, he said.

According to the Deputy Minister, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation has conducted a project on “Remote sensing-based Information and Insurance for Crops in Emerging economies (“RIICE”) in Asia, including Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, aiming to reduce the vulnerability of rice smallholder farmers in the countries.

The involved countries make use of the remote sensing technology to map and observe rice growth.

In the same way, the risks involved in agricultural lending by banks to rice smallholders can be reduced through insurance that protects the farmers’ loans against defaulting due to yield losses and thus trigger more investments in agricultural production.

In Vietnam, RIICE has been carried out in the northern province of Nam Dinh and the Mekong Delta province of Soc Trang, allowing users to collect information on weather, rice growing process and output, which serve as a useful foundation for agricultural managers to give appropriate production directions.

Apart from the rice production management, the technology has also been used in other fields such as agricultural and forest land management, forest fire warning, landslide and alluvium supervision and disaster management.-VNA