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Mekong forum highlights technology application in agro-aquaculture

A forum discussing ways to enhance application of technologies in agriculture and aquaculture production take place in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho on May 25.

The Mekong 2018 Forum was jointly organised by the Department of Technology Application and Development of the Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST ), Can Tho’s Department of Science and Technology, Cuu Long University, and the Asia industry information association. The event is part of a chain of events hosted by the MoST, which aims to promote technology application, transfer and innovation in the Mekong Delta region.

The forum featured introduction and demonstrations of modern and smart technologies for agriculture and aquaculture production and business networking activities for technology transfer in the region.

Dao Anh Dung, Vice Chairman of the Can Tho municipal People’s Committee said that the Mekong Delta region is a key agricultural area of the country, accounting for 50 percent, 65 percent and 70 percent of the nation’s rice, aquaculture and fruit yields, respectively.

The region also contributes 95 percent of rice export and 60 percent of aquatic product export of the country, he added.

However, he noted that the delta is vulnerable to challenges caused by climate change and rising sea level, which have direct impact on the production and the life of regional people.

Dung stressed the need to shift the way of thinking in agricultural production from ensuring food security to large-scale and modern agricultural production to meet market demand.

MoST Deputy Minister  Tran Van Tung said thanks to application of science and technology  in agricultural production, regional research institutes and enterprises have created many varieties of plants and animals with high economic value, along with advanced production technologies, suitable with regional characteristics, thus developing key products with high competitiveness, contributing to promoting sustainable socio-economic development in  the region and the country in general.

Participants, however, pointed out that science and technology have yet to become the main driving force of socio-economic development in the Mekong Delta.

They suggested promoting  research, transfer and application of technologies in agricultural production in the region, focusing on new and smart technologies, automation technology solutions basing on the IoT platform such as Unmanned pesticide spraying aircraft; plant / animal quality monitoring system via smartphone, and precise irrigation technology.            

It is both the current trend and a compulsory solution to increase productivity, product quality, and shift to modern agriculture.