GROWTH PLAN

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With the value of agri­cul­tural pro­duc­tion still low, the sec­tor is seek­ing in­vest­ment in ad­vanced tech­nol­ogy that could boost rev­enue.

HCM CITY — New poli­cies that would at­tract in­vest­ment in the hi- tech agri­cul­ture sec­tor would cre­ate a break­through in pro­duc­tion and con­sump­tion of farm pro­duce, the HCM City Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture and Ru­ral De­vel­op­ment has rec­om­mended.

Although the city has paid at­ten­tion to en­hanc­ing ad­vanced tech­nol­ogy in agri­cul­tural pro­duc­tion in the past, the value of agri­cul­tural pro­duc­tion has grown at a mod­est rate of about 5 per cent per year.

The av­er­age rev­enue per hectare un­der agri­cul­tural pro­duc­tion in the city is about VNÑ280 mil­lion (US$13,213) per year.

If main­tain­ing such a growth rate, the sec­tor would reach the pro­duc­tion value of VNÑ800 mil­lion ($37,753) per hectare by 2020 as set in the master plan for agri­cul­tural re­struc­tur­ing, the depart­ment said.

Leâ Minh Duõng, deputy di­rec­tor of the depart­ment, said the city was call­ing for en­ter­prises to invest in the hi-tech agri­cul­tural sec­tor and de­velop mod­els for in­cu­bat­ing busi­nesses to reach the tar­get.

Be­sides bet­ter poli­cies, the city needed to fo­cus more on solv­ing fi­nan­cial dif­fi­cul­ties faced by en­ter­prises, he said.

Many firms were not in­ter­ested in in­vest­ing in the hi-tech agri­cul­tural sec­tor, say­ing that it re­quires a large amount of cap­i­tal, but has low eco­nomic ef­fi­ciency.

Credit in­sti­tu­tions were not in­ter­ested in pro­vid­ing loans to en­ter­prises be­cause of the low prof­its.

Leâ Thaønh Nguyeân, di­rec­tor of Saøi Goøn Hi-tech Park In­cu­ba­tion Cen­tre, said the cen­tre had worked with many in­vest­ment funds, but they were only in­ter­ested in real es­tate and in­for­ma­tion and tech­nol­ogy sec­tors.

The agri­cul­tural sec­tor had low cap­i­tal turnover and high risks, he added.

The Gov­ern­ment had no in- vest­ment fund de­signed to support a business in­cu­ba­tion pro­gramme, while in other coun­tries in the re­gion such as Malaysia and Sin­ga­pore, the Gov­ern­ment set aside large in­vest­ment funds for this kind of ac­tiv­ity.

The hi-tech agri­cul­tural sec­tor would ex­pand more rapidly if the ex­ist­ing bar­ri­ers were re­moved, he said. —

VNA/ VNS Photo Hoaøng Haûi

Ex­perts plant vegetables at the HCM City Agri­cul­tural Hi- tech Park. New poli­cies are needed to at­tract more funds for hi- tech agri­cul­ture. —

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