The Central Highlands province of Dak Nong aims to boost its agriculture sector in an efficient, competitive and sustainable manner, the Vietnam Investment Review reported.

The province has vast agricultural land and advantageous natural and socio-economic conditions which favour the application of hi-tech agricultural production. Dak Nong enjoys a favourable geographical location, allowing easy accessibility to vast consumer markets in Ho Chi Minh City and southeastern localities

Between 2005 and 2010, the province’s agricultural production value grew by an average 7.5 percent per year. By 2012 the sector’s total productivity surpassed 5 trillion VND (238 million USD), more than half the province’s GDP.

Several major crops have seen exceptional growth in terms of production output in the recent time. Coffee rose from an average 1.5 tonnes per hectare to 2.3 tonnes per hectare in 2013. Corn increased from five tonnes/ha to seven tonnes/ha, and rice from 4-5 tonnes/ha to 5.8-6 tonnes/ha.

Production value per hectare of cultivated land nearly quadrupled from 15.9 million VND (757 USD) per year to 60 million VND (2,857 USD) per year in 2013.

Dak Nong province is looking to develop its agriculture sector into a hi-tech based production, as well as to ensure food security and environmental sanitation standards while keeping abreast of adapting to climate change conditions.

Dak Nong’s agricultural sector has taken the initiative in selecting suitable crops and livestock for development in specialised areas to meet growing market demands.

Notably, diverse cultivation models in different areas in the province have proven very effective, such as passion fruits in Dak R’Lap, Tuy Duc, Dak Song, and Dak Glong districts, seedless lemon in Dak R’Lap and Tuy Duc districts, and Japanese sweet potato in Tuy Duc and Dak Song districts.

The agricultural sector also successfully came up with the model of growing cocoa in cashew gardens in Dak R’Lap district, planting palm oil trees in Dak Glong district, and farming green asparagus in Tuy Duc district and citrus fruits in Gia Nghia town, Dak Mil and Dak Glong.

Efforts were also made to ensure sustainable development of cocoa, pepper and coffee production following the 4C UTZ certified process.

At present, Dak Nong is planning a 120ha hi-tech agricultural zone to develop new models, implement scientific research projects and attract scientists and businesses to invest and transfer the latest science and technology achievements to support the province’s development ambitions.

Hi-tech agricultural areas have been established in diverse locations throughout the province and due attention has been paid to spur agricultural production following Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) standards and the application of models for pest prevention to ensure high crop output but also environmental protection.

To develop agricultural production, apart from state backing and farmers’ efforts, support from businesses is of great importance. Therefore in the coming years Dak Nong will further call on businesses to engage in building seed and animal breeding centres, seafood breeding centres, and dairy farms and processing units.

The province has also called on investment into slaughter houses that use cutting edge equipment and agricultural processing units through offering attractive land and tax incentive policies.-VNA