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Investment in agricultural technology R&D remains low

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Vietnam spends VND600 billion each year to develop technology for agricultural production, of which VND300 billion, or $15 million, is spent on research and development (Ramp;D), or one-tenth of Thailand’s.

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Vietnam spends VND600 billion each year to develop technology for agricultural production

 

The figures were released by Prof Bui Chi Buu, former director of the Institute of Agricultural Science for Southern Vietnam (IAS), at a workshop on the role of the mechanical engineering sector in agriculture development held recently.

Buu said of the VND600 billion spent every year, 50 percent is used to pay to workers, and the other half is for R&D.

The spending is small compared with the world and the region. It is just one-tenth and one-seventh of Thailand’s and the Philippines’s, respectively. If compared with South Korea, the ratio would be 1 to 600.

The low investment in R&D activities has put Vietnam at a disadvantage and made it reliant on other countries in applying science and technology in agricultural production.

The mechanization in rice harvesting in Mekong Delta is an example. The market of machines that serve the process is controlled by big Japanese companies such as Kubota and Yanmar. 

Vietnam has to spend $500 million a year to import seeds, or 33.3 times higher than the budget allocated for R&D.

Vietnam is especially weak at post-harvesting technologies which hinder the export of valuable fruits and vegetables.

In general, Vietnam spends little money on R&D. Very few businesses carry out R&D activities and spend money on R&D.

According to Buu, the National Assembly (NA0 allows spending of 2 percent of GDP on science & technology development. As such, in theory, Vietnam has $4.5 billion for the activities, noting that Vietnam’s GDP was $224 billion in 2017. 

However, the amount of money has never been fully used.

The budget allocated for R&D activities in developed countries such as the US, China and Israel are very high, which explains their high level of technology development.

The US, for example, budgets 2.8 percent of GDP for R&D, or $532 billion (its GDP in 2017 was $19 trillion). As for China, it spent $258 billion and $284 billion on the activities in 2013 and 2014, respectively.

Israel spends 4.3 percent of its GDP on R&D, or about $15 billion ($201 billion GDP in 2017).

Vietnam ranks second in Southeast Asia and 15th in the world in farm exports, with produce present in 180 countries and territories

 

 

Source: VietNamNet

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