Lam Dong develops modern agriculture

Monday, 2021-02-08 09:54:50
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A flower garden applying high technology in Da Lat (Photo: NDO/Mai Van Bao)
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NDO – The Central Highlands province of Lam Dong is one of the leading localities in developing high-tech agriculture, smart agriculture and organic agriculture and has created a breakthrough in promoting agriculture as a key economic sector. In the coming time, Lam Dong Province is determined to continue boosting agricultural restructuring and establish itself as a leading centre for agricultural research and production of the country.

New-generation farmers

Lam Dong provincial authorities have eyed high-tech agriculture as a key for local socio-economic development and have always encouraged farmers to apply advanced science - technology in production, which has created a new generation of dynamic and creative farmers in the locality.

One of them is 36-year-old Phan Thanh Sang, the owner of YSA Orchid Farm, which gained an annual revenue of more than VND60 billion. YSA Orchid Farm currently consists of three high-tech farms with a total land area of more than 10 hectares in Da Lat City and Don Duong District (Lam Dong Province) and Ninh Thuan Province.

Considered as the leader of young start-up generation in Lam Dong Province, Sang is currently the Chairman of Da Lat City’s Flower Association and Vice Chairman of Lam Dong Provincial Youth Union. He was named among the top 10 national young faces of 2015.

In 2007, after graduating from the agriculture faculty of Da Lat University, Sang started his orchid growing career by borrowing VND200 million (US$8,780) from banks. The money was invested in a laboratory to breed new orchids.

Since then, he has been active in going high technology in his business by installing greenhouse systems, automatic air conditioning and humidity sensor systems in his farms.

To date, Phan Thanh Sang has bred more than 300 varieties of orchids and his YSA Orchid Farm has become a famous brand among domestic marketers and exporter.

Lam Dong Province now becomes a promising land for agriculture start-ups. One of successful model is developed by Nguyen Duc Huy, director of the Viet Hydroponics Cooperative in Da Lat City.

Gaining a Master in Plant Biology in Ho Chi Minh City in 2013, Huy decided to return to his homeland to start his own career. After experiencing failures in gardening due to the hue depending too heavily on natural conditions, Huy decided to write a remote control software for his garden.

According to him, his system works based on a database of weather condition, humidity, temperature, and growth of plants, which helps it make occurrence prediction of pests and diseases, thus allowing gardeners to take prompt actions to address arising problem.

A new generation of farmers has been established in Lam Dong Province, who have distinguished themselves thanks to their sharp thinking and active acquirement and application of science and technology.

Nowadays, garden owners like Phan Thanh Sang, Nguyen Duc Huy, and many others have embraced the benefits of the Internet of Things (IoT) in their production, allowing them to have a cup of coffee in a cafeteria, make transactions, seek partners, and discuss with them to expand their markets for export while updating their farms.

Phan Thanh Sang, the owner of YSA Orchid Farm, in one of his high-tech farms.

Targeting modern agriculture

Facts have shown that the investment in high-tech agriculture has brought about greater profits, and higher economic efficiency than common production. The drastic change in the thinking of agribusiness among local enterprises and farmers is made thanks to the involvement of the local authorities and exemplary high-tech agricultural production models.

Deputy Director of the Lam Dong provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Nguyen Van Chau said that Lam Dong invests about 80% of its budget in agriculture every year.

Over the past five years, the province has approved 11 programmes and projects to support production with a total budget of VND 108 billion. Many local businesses have also been active in conducting research and adapting modern technologies from Europe, Israel, Thailand, and Japan in their productions.

As a result, the total value of the province’s agricultural production in 2020 reached VND180 million per hectare. As many as 10 enterprises have been recognised as high-tech enterprises and the connection between businesses, cooperatives and households have been promoted.

To date, high technologies have been applied in more than 60,000 hectares of agricultural land in Lam Dong Province, accounting for 20% of the total farming, and average production value per hectare of agricultural land is estimated at VND400 million.

The total area applying IoT technology in crop cultivation in the province has reached more than 235 hectares, with many models achieving an annual revenue of more than VND3 billion VND per hectare.

The province has zoned off 4,000 hectares for 18 areas for high-tech agriculture and trademarks have been awarded to 21 local agricultural products.

The provincial authorities have cooperated with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in implementing the project on formulating an agriculture development model by a multi-sector approach and promoting the investment environment in the agricultural sector.

Lam Dong has established relations with 21 countries and territories and 12 international organisations, and six foreign localities to jointly implement agricultural development programmes and projects, which have provided an opportunity for the province's agricultural sector to take off in the coming time.

According to Dr. Pham S, Vice Chairman of People's Committee of Lam Dong Province, the locality has reaped the benefits of smart technologies to develop modern, branded and high-quality agriculture.

Following its achievements, Lam Dong Province targets to continue restructuring the agricultural sector, establishing itself as a national and international centre for agricultural technology research and production, with a focus on promoting organic agriculture and smart agriculture.

Accordingly, the province set a goal that by 2025, high technologies will be applied to 25% of total land for agricultural production, including 600 hectares of smart agriculture and 2,000 hectares of organic agriculture.