Israeli Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Yair Shamir has described Vietnam’s agricultural sector as brimming with potential, suggesting the country give more importance to high-tech in this sector.

At a recent agricultural business forum in Ho Chi Minh City, the minister said his country has recorded marvellous agricultural achievements, even on desert areas amid severe weather conditions, thanks to high-tech applications.

Last November, a Vietnam-Republic of Korea (RoK) agriculture research park was also launched at the Tra Noc Industrial zone in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho.

The 21.13 million USD centre will assist businesses that process farm produce and seafood to access cutting-edge technologies while upholding the agricultural advantages of the Mekong Delta region.

At the same time, the enhancement of cooperation, investment attraction and technological transfer with other countries is seen as a necessary and urgent way to help Vietnam increase its scientific and technological applications in agriculture as well as the sector’s competitive edge.

The agricultural sector, which contributes over 20 percent to the national gross domestic product (GDP), dominates the livelihood of over 70 percent of Vietnam’s population.

However, low productivity, quality and competitiveness has characterised the country’s agriculture due to out-of-date technologies despite a range of efforts made by businesses and other stakeholders.

Research agencies have developed tens of varieties of flowers and vegetables that are out of season or suitable for early crops. Joining the efforts, Ho Chi Minh City has developed a high-tech agricultural area covering an area of 88.17 hectares.

Reality however, shows that most of high-tech agricultural zones still use seeds imported from foreign countries.

Moreover, many types of Vietnamese farm produce are unable to compete with those from China and India in terms of both price and the stability of supply.-VNA