HCMC, Central Highlands provinces foster agricultural cooperation

Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) and the provinces in the Central Highlands region have successfully carried out numerous collaborative efforts in the agricultural sector, and further practical activities are scheduled for the future.

At the meeting at the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of HCMC

On the morning of April 3, the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of HCMC held a conference to discuss and finalize the implementation of agricultural cooperation between HCMC and the Central Highlands provinces. This initiative is part of the series of activities aimed at reviewing the progress of the agreement on socioeconomic development cooperation between HCMC and the Central Highlands provinces in 2023. The plan for cooperation implementation in 2024 will be deliberated tomorrow morning, April 4.

Mr. Dinh Minh Hiep, Director of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of HCMC, emphasized that agricultural cooperation is a key priority in the socioeconomic collaboration between HCMC and the Central Highlands provinces. Consequently, the units need to engage in specific, substantive discussions and reach a consensus on the content for smooth implementation. During the conference, the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of HCMC proposed various collaboration initiatives for 2024 for the leaders of the Agricultural and Rural Development Departments of the Central Highlands provinces to deliberate and reach an agreement.

Accordingly, HCMC has proposed hosting three regional-level events, including a trade fair and exhibition highlighting high-tech agriculture and seedlings (scheduled for June); the One Commune, One Product (OCOP) product week, showcasing regional specialties and advancements in agricultural production, preservation, and processing technologies (slated for November); and the International Ginseng and Medicinal Herbs Festival (planned for May).

The regional events to be held in Central Highlands provinces include the first Kon Tum Ngoc Linh Ginseng Festival and a specialized workshop focusing on pig breeding techniques and breed supply in Dak Nong Province.

Leaders of the agricultural sector from HCMC and Central Highlands provinces engaged in extensive discussions on various bilateral cooperation initiatives. For instance, HCMC and Dak Lak will collaborate on researching and proposing conservation and breeding processes for rare indigenous fish species in Dak Lak Province. Additionally, trials will be conducted on preserving fresh mangoes using low-molecular-weight chitosan biological products, and support will be provided for the development of biological products to build pig farming models.

HCMC and Gia Lai have proposed five areas of cooperation, including human resource training in molecular biology and the implementation of scientific and technological tasks, technology transfer for the production of Ngoc Linh ginseng roots using bioreactor systems, collaborative implementation of production and commercial models for chili oil, and support for biological products to develop pig farming models aimed at reducing odor.

The High-Tech Agricultural Zone Management Board, Saigon Agriculture Incorporation (SAGRI), the International University, and the HCMC University of Social Sciences and Humanities have also put forth various cooperation initiatives with Central Highlands provinces.

During the conference, lively discussions took place regarding the implementation methods of activities, organizing budgets, and specific products. The leadership of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of HCMC emphasized the importance of localities preparing the content well and providing specific "orders" for businesses to invest in high-tech agriculture development in provinces. They also highlighted the need to avoid workshops focusing solely on scientific discussions, neglecting the crucial aspect of investment.

The cooperation agreement between HCMC and the Central Highlands provinces was signed in September 2023, primarily scheduled for implementation in the fourth quarter of the same year. Within a short period, several agricultural activities have already been initiated. For example, the OCOP product week featuring regional specialties and products from various regions took place at the end of October 2023. Additionally, an exhibition focusing on cultivation, and processing technologies for agriculture, forestry, aquaculture, VietGAP, and OCOP products was held in mid-November.

In December, a workshop was held to share experiences in building models for seed development, biotechnology, urban agriculture, and high-tech agricultural applications. Another workshop focused on the production and supply of breeds and pig farming techniques. In November, an exchange took place to discuss the application of technical advancements in building models for high-tech and biotechnological applications, as well as processes for cultivation, breeding, processing, and preservation in crops such as medicinal plants, fruit trees, and grains, as well as in medicinal and edible mushrooms.

Additionally, provinces in the Central Highlands successfully organized various activities, including the Buon Ma Thuot Coffee Festival and the Central Highlands Gong Festival.

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