Vĩnh Long’s high-tech agriculture pays off

10:07 | 08/01/2018
High-tech urban models of agriculture in the Mekong Delta province of Vĩnh Long are yielding high profits for farmers.
An orchid garden in Vĩnh Long City. - VNA/VNS Photo Mạnh Linh

Nguyễn Văn Sua, a farmer in Long Hồ District’s Phước Hậu Commune, said in 2016 he got good results from his 1,000 sq.m net house where he grew vegetables.

The output in the net house was two to three times higher than vegetables grown in open-air fields, he said, adding that the survival rate is also higher.

“After more than one year, I now have a second net house with an area of 2,000 sq.m for cultivating vegetables,” he said.

With advanced farming techniques and environmental friendly production, urban agriculture needs less land area than traditional farming.

The province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has helped farmers in Vĩnh Long City and Bình Minh Town develop 37 orchid cultivation models with a total of 37,000 pots of orchids.

Last year, Lâm Quốc Hưng in Vĩnh Long City’s Trường An Commune was provided 1,000 pots of orchids by the city’s Agriculture Extension Centre.

Hưng increased the number of orchid pots in his garden to 2,200 and earned revenue of VNĐ20 million (US$880) every three months. 

“I plan to grow an additional 1,500 pots of orchids,” he said.

Advanced farming techniques, including automated irrigation systems, have helped orchid farmers reduce the number of workers and amount of water for growing orchids, according to farmers.

Last year, the city developed more than 10 models of urban agriculture that grow clean vegetables, hydroponic vegetables and other products.

Nguyễn Hoàng Khải in the city’s Tân Hòa Commune, for example, grows 400 cucumber plants in a 300 sq.m net house and earns a profit of VNĐ30 million ($1,320) per three-month crop.

Khải said he offered cucumbers for sale at supermarkets, which asked for about 50 kilos of cucumbers a day.

“To meet the request, I’m building five more net houses with a combined 2,000 sq.m to grow cucumbers,” he said.

Lâm Thị Thảo Trang, deputy head of the Vĩnh Long City Economic Bureau, said many urban agriculture models had been successful, including safe vegetables, hydroponic vegetables, orchids, frogs and fish.

The method has increased value, met market demand, and reduced the need for pesticides and labourers, she said.

However, there are still difficulties, including a limited State budget and farmers’ shortage of capital, Trang said, adding that there is also a lack of investment from companies for processing.

From 2015 to 2020, the province, located between the Tiền and Hậu rivers, tributaries of the Mekong River, has been moving toward high-tech agriculture.

Last year, the provincial People’s Committee approved a plan to apply high-tech techniques from Israel in agriculture.

Nguyễn Thị Mai, director of Vĩnh Long Province’s Agricultural Seedling Centre, said that additional training of human resources and more investment were needed to support high-tech agriculture.

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