Hi-tech agriculture encounters multiple obstacles
HANOI – Hi-tech agriculture, though identified as the right thing to do with the agricultural sector, is facing a slew of barriers like limited access to markets and loans
Mere investments in hi-tech agriculture are insufficient to enhance the competitiveness of agricultural products, Le Thanh, head of the Institute of Vietnam Organic Agricultural Economics, said at a seminar in Hanoi on Tuesday.
He stressed hi-tech agriculture is technically a production method, not an economic model, so it should be treated as part of the value chain.
If investors inject a staggering VND3-4 trillion into hi-tech agriculture without having outlets, it would become a heavy burden for enterprises and banks, he explained.
Tran Van Tan, deputy head of the Credit Department under the State Bank of Vietnam, said the application of advanced technology to produce clean products is unprecedented in Vietnam, so there are potential risks associated with hi-tech agriculture projects.
Besides, he said, these projects require hefty investments, hence high product prices. Producers are still grappling with difficulties in selling their products. He urged investors to find buyers for their products and secure deals with suppliers.
The hi-tech value chain will be commercially viable if investors receive orders from large corporations, he added.
A representative of the central bank said investors of greenhouses and net houses have yet to be granted certificates of property ownership on agricultural land. This has made it impossible for enterprises to borrow from banks.
Nguyen Thi Thanh Thuy, head of the Department of Science, Technology and Environment under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said investors have difficulty gaining access to the VND100-trillion credit package for high-tech agriculture.
Nguyen Quoc Hung, head of the Credit Department of Economic Sectors under the central bank, proposed the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment implement the Government’s resolution on revision of regulations on the issuance of certificates for land use rights and ownership of houses and landed assets in a timely manner.
He added the ministry should provide guidelines on the granting of certificates of ownership of property on agricultural land, and create favorable conditions for enterprises to borrow from banks.
He also petitioned the ministries of agriculture-rural development and industry-trade to give forecasts on hi-tech produce demand, organize more promotion programs, and help enterprises find consumption markets.
With turnover of $375 million in May, fruit and vegetables were among the biggest export items for Vietnam, while imports of the same equalled $183 million.
Vietnam’s rice output during the winter-spring crop was estimated at 19.1 million tonnes, a year-on-year decrease of 1.5 percent
Vietnam has exported 36,200 tons of litchi grown in Bac Giang and Hai Duong provinces to various markets including China, Australia, the Netherlands & Thailand