Friday, 19 Jan 2018

Foreign and local firms to invest US$1.5 billion in high-tech agriculture

Updated at Sunday, 24 Dec 2017, 16:22
The Hanoitimes - FLC Group will join hand with Japan’s Farmdo Company to invest US$1.5 billion in hi-tech agriculture in Vietnam in the next three years.
Under a co-operation agreement signed between the two firms recently, the two sides will co-operate to develop a 4,000ha hi-tech agricultural farm combining solar energy – one of the world’s most advanced models in the sector.
This model uses double-sided solar panels to cover agricultural land, allowing for renewable energy, even as crops continue to receive most of the sunshine and agricultural machinery remains stable.
Studies showed that the system can increase productivity and reduce CO2 emissions, while taking advantage of the cheap electricity resource for agricultural production.
In addition, Farmdo will also transfer advanced farming technologies used in Japan to FLC.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Farmdo chairman Masayuki Iwai said the hi-tech agriculture model combining solar energy has received support from the Japanese government. Farmdo has been active in expanding the model both inside and outside Japan, he added.
“This model is suitable with FLC’s green and sustainable development orientation. With many similar characteristics between the two countries, we believe the model can be quickly applied at all FLC’s projects,” Masayuki said.
He proposed FLC sends its employees to Japan to learn about the technology at the earliest.
FLC chairman Trinh Van Quyet said the signing with a reputable Japanese hi-tech firm such as Farmdo is a necessary step to improve productivity in comparison with traditional production. It would also offer hi-quality products to the market, contributing to building green, clean and sustainable agriculture.
Quyet added that following the signing, the investment promotion between FLC and its Japanese partners would be enhanced with the support of Norio Hattori, former Japanese Ambassador to Vietnam and currently head of the FLC representative office in Japan.
Farmdo is one of the leading firms in the agriculture sector in Japan. It plans to expand investment and its model in many Asian countries. 
The Government has so far adopted various policies to promote the development of high-tech agriculture. In 2012, for example, the Prime Minister issued Decision 1895 approving implementation of an agricultural development program using high-tech applications.
The program aims to promote the development and effective application of high technology in the agricultural sector, contributing to the development of a large-scale, modern, and highly competitive and comprehensive agriculture model. It also targets an annual growth rate of over 3.5 per cent in the agricultural sector while ensuring national food security.
In 2015, the PM signed another decision approving the master plan to build 10 high-tech agricultural zones by 2020.
Especially, hi-tech agriculture has ridden a new wave of investment since early this year, with the participation of numerous enterprises, banks, and the resolute determination from the government.
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on March signed a resolution providing a credit package worth VND100 trillion (US$4.4 billion) to invest in the development of high-tech agriculture at lower than market rates. According to the resolution, 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.
​Minh Tam
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