Agriculture accelerates its integration process

Tuesday - 01/08/2023 15:51 338

(BP Portal) - "The farmer is the subject in the process of agricultural development. Agriculture is modern, eco-friendly and adapted to natural conditions. Comprehensive rural development is linked to preserving and promoting the national cultural identity. The agricultural sector is making every effort to help farmers and cooperatives shift from agricultural production thinking to an agricultural economic mindset and from single-value agricultural products to multi-value ones. This direction is the general goal of the Comprehensive Restructuring Plan for Agricultural Development towards 2030"- affirmed Pham Thuy Luan, a member of the Provincial Party Committee and Director of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Green growth "runway"

After applying biofertilizers to his pepper garden, Nguyen Van Truong in Village 7, Dak O Commune, Bu Gia Map District, sat under a pepper tree and took out his phone. The phone screen displayed the message: "Today is the day to supplement with microorganisms" for his family's 1.5-hectare pepper garden. Above this message, two columns are visible: "In progress" and "Completed." Truong clicked on the "Completed" column with a satisfied smile. "Thanks to this app, I know what tasks I must do for my pepper garden today. It helps me select the right fertilizers and plant protection products for cultivating pepper according to organic standards. The products I produce are known to the world about the farming process, so I no longer have to worry about the outlet as before." - Truong excitedly shared. He is among the 36 Binh Phuoc Organic Agricultural Cooperative members in Dak O Commune. For over three years, they have used digital transformation software for pepper cultivation according to European organic standards.

Dong Xanh Organic Agricultural Cooperative in Dak Nhau Commune, Bu Dang District, was established initially at the end of 2017 with only 37 members. Up to now, the number of cooperative members has increased to 240, collectively cultivating 496 hectares of cashews that have been certified to meet the organic standards of Europe, Japan, and the United States. This cooperative is remarkable because 80% of its members belong to the S'tieng and M'nong ethnic minority groups, residing in the two communes of Dak Nhau and Duong 10 in the Bu Dang District. One of the reasons for the growing participation in cooperatives of ethnic minority households is the chain of linkages that support the production and consumption of their products. "Previously, farmers let the cashew trees grow independently, bearing fruits naturally. During the harvest season, they used barrels or wooden logs to roll over to make the grass fall so that they could collect the fallen fruits. Now, the cooperative provides training and support for fertilizers and grass-cutting machines. Therefore, taking care of and harvesting cashews has become much more convenient than that before. The cooperative also purchases cashews from farmers at higher prices than the market, ranging from 500 to 1,000 VND per kilogram. Farmers are thrilled!" - Dieu Thanh from Dak La Village, Dak Nhau Commune, said.

People in Hamlet 4, Hung Phuoc Commune, Bu Dop District apply modern technology in their fields to both reduce costs and avoid losses during the harvesting process

In addition to focusing on improving the quality of cashew trees, the Dong Xanh Organic Agricultural Cooperative is also expanding into about 32 hectares of organic durian cultivation. The cooperative supports its members with financial aid for fertilizers, purchasing prices for agricultural products, and training and guidance on organic farming processes. This support helps reduce production costs and enhances the quality of farm products. "With the guidance from the cooperative, my family purchases manure to compost with Trichoderma fungus every year. After four months, we apply this compost to our crops. The cooperative also teaches us how to produce and use the biomass of microbial products for watering our plants. Following this approach, we reduce our annual investment costs by over 30%. Our crops grow sustainably, and the quality of our agricultural products receives high praise from traders," said Do Ngoc Tich, a Dong Xanh Organic Agricultural Cooperative member.

Truong Van Dao, residing in Bau Nghe Village, Phuoc Tin Commune, Phuoc Long Town, has never witnessed such a vibrant durian market as this year. He is both a farmer and a director of a cooperative, as well as an enterprise owner that purchases and processes durian fruit and has 30 years of involvement with the ups and downs of durian trees. "Every day, dozens of traders from provinces such as Dak Nong, Dak Lak, Dong Nai, and Tien Giang come to Bau Nghe Village to purchase durian. This phenomenon results from the Bau Nghe Fruit Tree Cooperative's durian orchards have received a cultivation area code. The average price for Ri6 durian ranges from 52,000 to 55,000 VND/kg, while the Dona durian fluctuates between 62,000 and 65,000 VND/kg. It can be asserted that this year's durian prices have reached the highest peak ever, thanks to having a cultivation area code that allows official exports to the Chinese market. The quality of Binh Phuoc durian is competitive with Thailand and Malaysia in the international market," said Truong Van Dao, the director of Bau Nghe Fruit Tree Cooperative, proudly.

Binh Phuoc province's total durian area has reached 6,200 hectares, with approximately 2,500 hectares currently under harvest and yielding an average of nearly 10 tons per hectare. With an average selling price of 52,000 VND/kg for the Ri6 variety and 62,000 VND/kg for the Dona variety, each hectare of durian helps farmers earn a profit of over 500 million VND per year. Durian orchards that are invested in and well-cared for according to proper technical process can achieve yields of 20-25 tons per hectare, and some exceptional orchards even yield up to 30 tons per hectare. Therefore, earning billions of VND in profit annually from each hectare of durian is relatively feasible for high-yield, high-quality orchards.

Right after the issuance of the Protocol on phytosanitary requirements for durian fruits, the agricultural sector of Binh Phuoc province, along with relevant agencies, made efforts to support farmers, businesses, and cooperatives in establishing 26 cultivation area codes and four durian packaging facilities. Currently, the province has 197 agricultural cooperatives with 96 products certified under the "One Commune, One Product" (OCOP) program, ranging from 3 to 5 stars. 75 out of 86 communes have achieved the criteria to qualify as new-style rural areas.

Green agricultural space "takes off"

To ensure future rapid and sustainable development for Binh Phuoc, the province leaders must accelerate the progress of constructing and establishing industrial zones and clusters to attract foreign investment. “During the development policy-making process, it is essential to focus on selecting investors with economic capabilities. The planning of industrial zones and clusters should not be overly large but rather integrate the multifunctionality of each zone, linking them with urban construction and development to save land resources and ensure the environment. Simultaneously, this approach helps to avoid the wasteful use of labour deficit caused by the industrial development process." - recommended Vuong Phan Lien Trang, a consultant, Deputy General Director of ENCITY Company.

One of the most significant opportunities for Binh Phuoc's economy to "take off" next time lies in the region's spillover effect of economic activities. 

Binh Phuoc's location is fortunate as it is not significantly affected by rising sea levels due to climate change. With the determination of its officials and the ambitious spirit of its people, the province is ready to seize opportunities for breakthroughs and future growth. Binh Phuoc has excellent potential in the agricultural sector. Still, there's a need for optimal solutions to harness this advantage fully.

"Binh Phuoc has excellent potential for developing high-tech agriculture, thanks to its favourable climate and suitable soil conditions, which are not readily available in every locality. Farmers have already begun adopting digital technologies in the digital transformation era, enabling them to produce high-quality agricultural products to meet market demand without even going to their fields. With these favourable conditions, why not vigorously promote the development of digital agriculture alongside the strategies for industrial and service sector development to create momentum for sustainable green growth, in line with the commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero, as pledged by the Prime Minister at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26)?" - Dr. Huynh Thi My Nuong, a critical expert, CEO of the  Leadership Training and Sustainable Development Services Company, raises this issue for the planners and policy implementers in Binh Phuoc.

In the first six months of 2023, the agricultural production value of Binh Phuoc province is estimated to reach over 16,350 billion VND, showing an increase of 15.3% compared to the same period in 2022. The structure of the production value is distributed as follows: agriculture accounts for 99.57%, forestry 0.2%, and aquaculture 0.23%. The forest coverage rate and perennial trees throughout the province have reached 75.6%. Binh Phuoc currently boasts a network of 260 linkage chains in the livestock sector and over 140 entities comprising businesses, cooperatives, and cooperative groups associated with producing and consuming products in the agricultural field.

According to: Radio - Television and Newspaper Binh Phuoc

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