South benefits from smart farming hinh anh 1Cucumbers grown in a greenhouse in HCM City’s Cu Chi district. (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNS/VNA) - Smart farming has played an important role in developing agriculture in the Southern Focal Economic Zone.

In the past few years, smart farming has been used successfully in many localities in the zone, attracting great attention from farmers and the business community.

The HCM City-based Quang Trung Software Park has introduced a number of smart farming models, including ones that use LED lamps and systems to grow vegetables in containers with high output and quality.

According to figures from the HCM City Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, agricultural land accounts for over 46 percent of the land in the zone compared to just 34 percent in HCM City.

Dr Tu Minh Thien, deputy chief of the HCM City Hi-tech Agricultural Park, said ecological agriculture and improvement in quality were both needed.

The zone should be developed into a national centre for hybridisation with laboratories that use advanced technologies and create new innovative technologies for agricultural use. It should also build brand names for regional specialities.

HCM City had led the way in smart farming models for farmers and the business community.

Thien said its Department of Agriculture had focused on the development of sustainable urban agriculture "using biotechnology and is a hub for developing high–quality plant and animal varieties”.

This acted as an impetus for sustainable agricultural development in the Southern Focal Economic Zone.

"Smart farming also can help turn HCM City into a centre for technology, including biotechnology," he said.

Statistics from the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce show that investment in the zone accounts for only 1 percent of total investment in agricultural development in Vietnam and 3 percent of companies’ investments in business and production activities.

Ninety percent of investment in agricultural development is from small and medium-sized enterprises.

Thien said relevant agencies had yet to issue policies to promote smart farming and tech companies had not focused on agriculture./.