TRÀ VINH — The embrace of digitisation is necessary to cope with saltwater intrusion in the Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta, experts have said.
The delta, the country’s largest rice, fruit and seafood producer, is affected by saltwater intrusion from the sea up rivers every year in the dry season.
Nguyễn Hiếu Trung, deputy rector of Cần Thơ University, said the delta has been affected by climate change in recent years, especially by drought and worsening saltwater intrusion which cause severe damage to agriculture.
Speaking at a seminar in Trà Vinh Province earlier this week, he said it should take advantage of the fourth industrial revolution to create new value for agricultural production.
This would reduce the risks and improve the value of agricultural produce and farmers’ incomes, he added.
Experts at the seminar analysed and presented solutions for using information technology to cope with droughts and saltwater, increasing the efficiency of farmlands and reducing labour costs.
Nguyễn Thanh Mỹ, chairman of the Mỹ Lan Group in Trà Vinh Province, unveiled his company’s invention of a digital agriculture eco-system to be used with smartphones to develop a digital farm economy.
It also has many other apps that are used in the delta such as smart stations for monitoring brown plant hoppers and buoys for inspecting saltwater intrusion automatically, he said.
With the use of smart phones, farmers can stay at home and monitor brown plant hoppers in their fields and the salinity of water used for irrigation, he said.
Brown plant hoppers are the main rice pests in the region.
The company also sells smart fertilisers for rice cultivation and this helps reduce labour. It also applies digital technology in super-intensive shrimp farming and manufactures smart machines for feeding shrimp, he said.
Trần Trọng Kim, deputy director of the Sóc Trăng Province Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said relevant agencies should strengthen advocacy about digitisation to change farmers’ mindsets and practices.
He hoped scientists would do research that could be applied in agriculture. — VNS
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