Wednesday , July 24 2024

Gap between science and agriculture needs to be bridged

In recent times, scientists have focused on researching and developing many useful scientific and technological products in the field of agriculture, but businesses and cooperatives that need these products have failed to access them due to a lack of information.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Lê Minh Hoan speaks at the conference. — VNA/VNS Photo

HÀ NỘI — It is necessary to connect supply and demand for science and technology products and to find opportunities for cooperation between scientists and businesses operating in Việt Nam’s agriculture sector, a conference in Hà Nội heard on Wednesday.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Lê Minh Hoan said in recent times, scientists have focused on researching and developing many useful scientific and technological products in the field of agriculture, but businesses and cooperatives that need these products have failed to access them due to a lack of information.

Cooperation between scientists and businesses is needed, Hoan said, adding that it will allow relevant parties to add ideas and content to scientific research, ensuring the feasibility and market accessibility of products. Closer coordination will also ensure that scientific research is suitable for practical conditions at reasonable costs, he said.

Minister Hoan also urged for a stronger order-driven mechanism between research and production, and between businesses and scientists in Việt Nam’s agriculture sector. At the same time, he emphasised that for businesses to place orders, scientists need to have samples to showcase their products.

Nguyễn Công Tiệp, Deputy Director of the Vietnam National University of Agriculture (VNUA) said his university strives to conduct scientific research that meets practical needs. VNUA is currently cooperating with about 200 domestic and foreign enterprises.

He called on businesses and cooperatives to place orders so that his university could speed up research, transfer, and application to improve the value of agricultural products.

Meanwhile, Nguyễn Hồng Sơn, Director of the Vietnam Academy of Agricultural Sciences (VAAS) said 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, Sơn said.

He added that 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 to research and development or received the transfer of scientific and technical advances so that they can improve plant variety.

The conference also saw eight agreements for the transfer of scientific products inked among research institutes and businesses. — VNA/VNS Photo

Trần Kim Liên, Chairwoman of the Board of Directors of the Vietnam National Seed Corp (Vinaseed) said since 2006, the company has cooperated with public research institutes to commercialise agricultural research results, accounting for nearly 50 per cent of the corporation’s revenue structure.

The important point is understanding the market’s demands and investing correspondingly to create plant varieties that can meet consumers’ needs. Liên said she believed that for a successful connection between researchers and businesses, it is necessary to forecast changes in consumer trends and direct scientific research accordingly.

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 programmes so that businesses can participate and attract investment capital.

For instance, the 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.

Liên also suggested the MARD select ideas from institutes and schools. Based on science and technology, the ministry could determine specific investment portfolios. Thereby creating conditions for small and medium enterprises to participate in the value chain.

For his part, Trần Trung Đức, Chairman of the Viba banana cooperative in Hoà Bình Province said bringing a product to market is a long process and requires constant back-and-forth communication with scientists.

When consumers change their requirements, businesses must respond and scientists can be companions, according to Đức.

The conference also saw eight agreements for the transfer of scientific products inked among research institutes and businesses. — VNS

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