Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung
On June 18, 2021, Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung and Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Minh Hoan co-presided over an online conference on digital transformation in agriculture and rural development.
VietNamNet would like to introduce Hung’s speech made at the working session:
With digital transformation, those who have lagged behind can speed up to surpass others, so digital transformation can help change the positions and ranks. And those who proceed first will have many opportunities.
In digital transformation, the places and works where there are the biggest and longstanding difficulties, will be the easiest to succeed and see the biggest effects. It wi be easier to deal with big things than small things, and easier to solve difficult things than easy things.
The obstacles to one organization’s digital transformation lie in the heads of the organizations, not in employees, because employees and the subjects the organizations serve benefit from digital transformation.
The difficulty of farmers is that they cannot sell products directly to consumers, and because of that the price of agricultural products is already low, but the farmer's income is even lower.
The difficulty of farmers is that the bananas in their gardens they sell are just like the bananas from anywhere, i.e. the bananas with no origin and no brand, and so the selling prices are low.
The difficulty of farmers is that while they are poor, they are not sure if they can buy livestock breeders and fertilizer at the right price and quality.
The difficulty of farmers is that the prices of bananas cannot go up, because bananas are just bananas, while other products see the prices increasing because the products improve in quality all the time.
An e-commerce website can help solve these difficulties. However, the marketplace needs to connect all farmers and all consumers. Farmers put their products on sale on websites, but the products need to have specific brands and clear origins. The value of bananas includes the sun, wind and soil in the localities, value of banana varieties, and the cultivation method of each household.
Farmers will determine the success of digital transformation in Vietnam as they account for 60-70 percent of the country's population,"
Minister of Information and Communications Nguyen Manh Hung
So, each banana of each tree and each farmer has its speciality, its own life and original value. Therefore, the prices of the bananas are not the same.
The marketplace also connects farmers with breeders and fertilizer suppliers. It commits to provide genuine products at the right quality and at competitive prices. Technologies and digital technology firms are ready to design such a marketplace for farmers. The country’s postal companies have infrastructure and technologies capable of bringing farm produce to every household nationwide. The household in remote places can also get deliveries within two days, so farm produce is still fresh when reaching consumers.
Postmart (https://postmart.vn/) and Voso (https://voso.vn/) , two marketplaces, have connected millions of households this litchi season and hundreds of thousands of households bought fresh litchis.
Many people in Ca Mau and Da Lat had never eaten Bac Giang’s litchis, because they did not think they could get fresh litchis. But things are different this year. More than 25 million households in Vietnam, no matter where they live, all can buy litchis and receive fresh lichis after 48 hours at the latest.
It is expected that over 8,000 tons of litchis will be consumed via marketplaces and delivered into their own hands. Around 8,000 tons are just 4-5 percent of litchi output. However, the figure is still encouraging if noting that it was nearly impossible before. Such a good start has created confidence in the development of marketplaces, which help farmers distribute farm produce, not only litchis, but other hundreds or thousands of other produce. The number of millions of households buying/selling via the marketplaces is expected to increase to tens of millions by this end of the year.
Another difficulty of farmers is that they don’t have mobile waveband and don’t have devices to access the internet. But each household needs to have at least one smartphone and one fiber optic internet line.
There are 2,000 hamlets, or 2 percent of total hamlets, in Vietnam, which still don’t have mobile wave. The Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) has instructed telecom carriers to fulfill the mobile wave coverage this year, or by June 2022 at the latest.
MIC is also running a program under which each farmer household will have at least one smartphone to access the internet by year end. The ministry is taking measures to speed up the implementation of one fiber optic internet line to every household by 2025 instead of 2030 as previously planned. And if the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) joins us, the goal can be attainable by 2023.
If Vietnam can do these things, its telecommunication infrastructure in rural areas will be among the best in the world.
This is the first condition that Vietnam needs to have to carry out digital transformation.
A difficulty that always exists is the farmers’ lack of information, knowledge and training. The plan on agriculture restructuring in 2021-2025, which was signed on February 25, 2021, only sets a modest goal that the number of trained workers in the agriculture sector will account for more than 55 percent.
However, this is an old approach. What if the workers receive online training, if there is an online training platform like MOOC (massive open online course) specifically designed for farmers? What if there is a digital university for farmers, so that they don’t have to travel far to cities to study? What if farmers have chatbots with whom they can ask anything related to agriculture, rural development and farmers? What if their children or grandchildren at secondary school are taught to access the internet to help their parents and grandparents access marketplaces, train online and seek information?
If so, will 100 percent of agricultural workers be trained by 2025?
To be continued...
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