The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development is set to finalise and submit a plan for hi-tech agricultural zones to the Government for approval in June, said deputy minister Bui Ba Bong.

The plan is expected to help increase the application of modern technology in agricultural production, in accordance with the scheme approved in 2010.

Vietnam aims to promote the use of advanced agricultural technologies and develop more hi-tech agricultural zones toward 2020.

However, Bong said, the implementation of the scheme has been running behind pace.

According to ministry statistics, in HCM City , there are only 90 on-going projects thus far. Other areas, including Hanoi , Lam Dong, Phu Yen and Nghe An are only in the first stage of the Government's long term plans.

Only three enterprises in the entire country were recognised for applying modern technologies. These included Da Lat Flower-Forest Biotechnology Corporation, Da Lat Hasfarm and TH Milk Joint Stocks Company.

Director of the National Institute of Agriculture Planning and Projection Nguyen Van Chinh said while there are sufficient incentives for the development of industrial zones and infrastructure, hi-tech agricultural zones have been hindered by lack of practical mechanisms.

One example is northern Son La province where the People's Committee was willing to spare 200 ha for such enterprises, however the incentives were too vague to attract investors.

Deputy minister Bong said hi-tech agriculture is a complicated industry and hasty, massive development should be avoided.

"The country already has about 7-12 zones which can make use of their natural advantages, such as vegetable and flower farms in Da Lat, tra fish farms in the Mekong Delta and coffee plantations in the Central Highland provinces," he said.-VNA