Sunday, 19 Nov 2017
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ECONOMYAGRICULTURE

1.42 billion lent to high-tech agriculture

Updated at Saturday, 28 Oct 2017, 08:38
The Hanoitimes - Outstanding loans to high-tech agricultural sector have so far reached nearly VND32.34 trillion (US$1.42 billion), said Nguyen Quoc Hung, Director of the State Bank of Vietnam’s Credit Department.
The Government has so far prioritized the development of high-tech agriculture, issuing many preferential policies to boost the sector’s growth. Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc this year signed a resolution providing a credit package worth VNĐ100 trillion (US$4.4 billion) to invest in the development of high-tech agriculture at interest lower than market rates.
The resolution stipulates that commercial banks must cut operation costs so they can set interest rates for enterprises or individuals engaged in high-tech agriculture production at 0.5-1.5 per cent lower than the current commercial interest rates.
More investment in high-tech agriculture is needed to produce high-quality exports with greater added value that can compete globally.
More investment in high-tech agriculture is needed to produce high-quality exports with greater added value that can compete globally.
The SBV has so far also directed commercial banks to offer more loans and pledged all possible support throughout the process.
However, lending to the sector has still faced difficulties as farmers are hard pressed to pay them back due to lack of information about domestic and foreign consumption markets.
Ngo Tien Dung, General Secretary of Association of Advanced Technology Enterprises (ATE), said that so far, only 28 out of 4,500 agricultural firms nationwide have been recognized by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) as high-tech businesses.
By mid-2017, the whole country has only two high-tech agriculture zones, established in the southern provinces of Hau Giang and Phu Yen
According to experts, the development of hi-tech agriculture had been stalled by land, market and capital barriers. The effectiveness of some key produce had been low.
Besides, more investment in high-tech agriculture is needed to produce high-quality exports with greater added value that can compete globally.
Nguyen Thi Thanh Thuy, head of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD)’s Department of Science, Technology and Environment, said the State had issued a number of policies to facilitate high-tech agriculture, but administrative procedures and the lack of insurance were weakening the efforts.
She said that firms should be encouraged to establish research centers and forming close linkages between businesses and technological organizations to promote hi-tech applications. 
She stressed the need to increase negotiations and the signing of trade deals to facilitate businesses’ access to more markets. 
Nguyen Do Anh Tuan, director of the Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development, said there had not been enough investment in science and technology for agriculture and rural areas. Thus far, investments had been directed mostly to theoretical pursuits, he said.
He said there was a need to increase investment in agricultural renovation. For this, among other things, co-operation between relevant associations and big businesses should be encouraged, he added.
​Thu Ha
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