From Smart Agriculture to Agriculture 4.0 (Vietnam Business Forum)

In 2017, in the light of the concept of Agriculture 4.0, countries like the United States, Canada, the Netherlands, Japan, Brazil and Argentina produced hundreds of millions of tonnes of agricultural products, such as corn, soybeans and vegetables, while labour cost to total costs was just five per cent.

First models 
Vietnam’s agriculture has seen some individual application models of Agriculture 4.0 since 2010 like smart solutions and smart equipment. Many areas of rice cultivation in the north and the south adopted solutions to reduce water consumption, use smart fertilisers or sensor-controlled automatic watering. Another model is the cooperation between agribusiness and researchers to apply smart solutions, like the cooperation between the Institute of Agricultural Science for Southern Vietnam and Eco Tiger Joint Stock Company to produce organic rice in Chau Thanh district, Tra Vinh province. Thousands of tonnes of organic rice meeting the United States, the European Union (EU) and Japanese standards has been produced.

Applying smart devices requires huge capital investment, knowledgeable human resources, technology and equipment. For this reason, just a few big enterprises can do this. For example, Anh Dao Cooperative (based in Da Lat – Lam Dong province) applies in VietGAP vegetable production, turning out 50,000 tonnes for domestic consumption and 4,000 tonnes for export and earning US$10 million of revenue a year. VinEco deployed many farming solutions and smart equipment since October 2015. So far, the company has successfully built and developed 15 farms covering nearly 3,000 hectares of production area. The firm has applied a variety of farming techniques and intelligent equipment such as greenhouse climate control (France), Sky Green multi-layer (Singapore), and membrane house and watering technology (Israel). Each month, VinEco supplies thousands of tonnes of various agricultural products to the market.

In livestock husbandry, some farms in Vietnam are adopting smart management, smart technology, automatic feeding, programmed feeding and livestock age-based feeding, and automatic lighting, using Microsoft SmartChick software provided by Microsoft Vietnam with IoT technology and internet. Smart technologies and equipment are also applied by the Breeding Centre of Ho Chi Minh City and Huy Long An Co., Ltd (Long An province) to mechanise cow farming. TH True Milk Group has built Asia’s largest smart dairy farm, raising more than 45,000 cows.

Also in livestock farming, Phu Tho organic chicken egg production factory is the first plant in Vietnam to control biological safety throughout the whole chicken egg production process. 100 per cent of stock are reared with the Agrotop Insulated Prefabricated System (Israel) installed in cages; Hytem automatic temperature, humidity and wind flow control (Japan); and Nagakawwa water purification system (Japan). The time from egg laying to supermarkets/shops is 24 hours. The plant can produce 500,000 eggs per day, or 175 million eggs per year.

“Connected agriculture” is the future of agriculture. This concept is spreading rapidly and creating a significant breakthrough in the agricultural sector. Agribank software of Dai Thanh Joint Stock Company or software of VIFARM can connect every product globally, access to manufacturers, places of production, production processes, input materials, regulations, processing time and storage time. Up to now, about 30 farms and enterprises in the country are applying IoT, including 15 in Lam Dong province.

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Vietnam Business Forum

13 September 2018

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