The Netherlands and Vietnam are natural partners in agriculture, especially hi-tech agriculture, since they have complementary strengths, experts told a conference in HCM City on 14 November 2019.
Mirjam Boekestijn, secretary of the Netherlands Vietnam Horti Business Platform, said agriculture is an important sector in both countries. Vietnam has large areas for farming and favourable conditions for growing a wide variety of crops, while the Netherlands has experience in using technology in agriculture, she said.
Despite its limited land for farming, the Netherlands is the world's second largest agricultural producer due to large investment in infrastructure and technology, which has improved its productivity, she added.
Dinh Minh Hiep, head of the Agricultural Hi-tech Park of HCM City, said Vietnam has great export opportunities through its free trade agreements, but the small, scattered nature of its agriculture and the difficulty in monitoring food safety are problems it faces.
For sustainable development and to improve efficiency and quality, its production needs to be more focused and hi-tech, he said. Thus, hi-tech agriculture is among the top priorities for the city.
Both countries have huge potential in the vegetable, flower and fruit segments, and tying up with leading Dutch agriculture businesses would offer Vietnamese businesses a good opportunity to acquire technologies, especially in the areas of cultivar research, harvest, storage, and processing, he said.
Business executives said lack of land and resources is a big hurdle to adopting technology in agriculture, and the Government should help businesses in this regard.
The conference was organised by the Agricultural Hi-tech Park of HCM City, Saigon Innovation Hub and The Netherlands Vietnam Horti Business Platform.