Ministry convenes forum to bridge gap between science, agriculture in Vietnam

The Agriculture and Rural Development Ministry (MARD) yesterday held a forum in Hanoi to exhibit technological products of Vietnam’s agriculture sector.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Minh Hoan is chairing the forum on July 10

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Minh Hoan stated that this forum was organized to connect supply and demand for science and technology products and to find opportunities for cooperation between scientists and businesses operating in Vietnam's agriculture sector. This is supposed to bring added value to businesses, cooperatives, and farmers, which has been an overarching goal of the agricultural sector for many years.

Director Nguyen Hong Son of the Vietnam Academy of Agricultural Sciences is delivering his speech

Director Nguyen Hong Son of the Vietnam Academy of Agricultural Sciences (VAAS) affirmed that the market is the facilitator of scientists in the agriculture sector. Currently, the demand for production development and value increase from businesses is very high. Therefore, "orders from businesses are the motivation for scientists to get started right from the research stage," said Director Son.

He further added that currently, a large number of businesses are very interested in investing in science-technology research and application in production. Many of them have allocated their funds in research and development or received the transfer of scientific and technical advances so that they can improve plant variety.

Chairwoman Tran Kim Lien of the Board of Directors of the Vietnam Seed Corp. is sharing her views in the forum

Affirming that the rapid application of scientific and technical advances is the key to the success of agricultural enterprises, Chairwoman Tran Kim Lien of the Board of Directors of the Vietnam Seed Corp. said that the company's annual revenue reaches VND3 trillion (US$118 million).

Each year, the company spends a significant amount of money to buy out good seed varieties. Since 2006, the company has cooperated with public research institutes to commercialize agricultural research results, accounting for nearly 50 percent of the corporation’s revenue structure.

The important point is to understand the market’s demands and invest correspondingly in order to create plant varieties that can answer consumers’ needs. She believes that for a successful connection between researchers and businesses, it is necessary to forecast changes in consumer trends and direct scientific research accordingly.

Representatives of many agricultural businesses are voicing their opinions in the forum

At the same time, the State needs to have policies to promote a more effective mechanism of public-private partnership in scientific research with longer-term programs so that businesses can participate and attract investment capital. For instance, MARD should introduce regulations on intellectual property protection so that businesses can feel secure in investing in research or receiving technology transfer in the agriculture field.

Minister Le Minh Hoan has urged for a stronger order-driven mechanism between research and production, and between businesses and scientists in Vietnam's agriculture sector. However, he emphasized that for businesses to place orders, scientists need to have samples to showcase their products.

Minister Hoan informed that the Prime Minister has issued a Strategy for Developing the Market for Science and Technology Products. "A market requires both sellers and buyers," he said. "Nevertheless, in the process of research cooperation, transfer, and application, there should be information connectivity to overcome the current obscurity in scientific research, " he added.

Some research results of Vietnam National University of Agriculture on display in the event (Photo: SGGP)

Welcoming proposals from agricultural businesses, the Minister stressed the need to make MARD's science and technology projects transparent to create conditions for businesses to participate more deeply.

Within the framework of this forum, MARD became the witness of eight agreements for the transfer of scientific products between research institutes and businesses receiving the transfer.

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