The Hanoitimes - Google will team up with the Vietnam Farmers’ Union (VFU) in a project to enhance computer, smartphone and Internet skills for about 30,000 farmers from nine provinces nationwide between 2017 and 2020.
Speaking at the recent workshop to launch the project, VFU President Lai Xuan Mon said the application of information technology in agricultural development helps improve productivity of farmers and turn the agriculture into a high-value industry. Mon cited the fact that in spite of the robust IT growth in Vietnam, the majority of the country’s farmers know little about how to use computers, smartphones to get updates on latest trends in agriculture from the Internet.
President of the Vietnam Farmers’ Union Lai Xuan Mon made speech at the event
The VFU has provided thousands of smallholders with computer skill training but they mostly centered on basic skills to access the Internet in search for cultivation techniques as well as plant and livestock varieties. Training on how to apply technology in production management and looking for markets, and in daily life is still limited, he noted.
The Google-funded project aims to help VFU’s staff and members effectively apply IT in agricultural production, agribusiness, forestry and fishery across nine provinces – Lai Chau, Bac Giang, Nam Dinh, Nghe An, Lam Dong, Binh Phuoc, Dong Thap, Tien Giang, and Bac Lieu. Through the project, Google will provide training for 540 union staff who, in return, will train 30,000 farmers in direct and online sessions.
According to Google, over 50 percent of Vietnam’s labour force worked in agriculture but the sector only contributed to around 20 percent of GDP. Meanwhile, the agriculture is facing threats posed by urbanisation and climate change, necessitating the use of technology to help farmers cope with challenges and improve economic effectiveness of their production.