29 May 2019
Since 2015, G2G has been engaging extensively with Vietnamese agribusinesses primarily through the channel provided by local industry body, the Digital Agriculture Association (DAA). In 2018, G2G signed an MoU with DAA during the visit of Viet Nam’s Prime Minister Mr Nguyen Xuan Phuc to New Zealand.
On 28 March 2019, G2G hosted a workshop in Ho Chi Minh City on the topic of ‘Agriculture 4.0: Science and technology-driven export excellence.’ Key topics for the workshop included understanding perceived weaknesses in the current Vietnamese agriculture model and how these can be overcome; lessons from the world’s leading high-value economies including significant, long-term investment in commercial R&D and field to plate quality controls; discussion on implications from high-value export markets getting stricter on quality standards, and consumer demand for safe, sustainably and ethically produced food products.
Twelve Viet Nam agribusinesses took part in the workshop, which was also attended by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise Chief Executive (and G2G Board Chair) Peter Chrisp, New Zealand’s Ambassador to Viet Nam Wendy Matthews, and workshop host, Trade Commissioner and Consul General Karlene Davies. Keynote speakers included former Director of Southern Institute of Agricultural Engineering and Post-harvest Technology (SIAEP), Mr. Nguyen Duy Duc, DAA Chairman Mr. Nguyen Manh Hung, SAM Agritech Chairwoman Ms. Nguyen Thu Hoai, and G2G Commercial Manager Dr Emmet McElhatton.
The workshop was a lively session, with much ground covered on opportunities for Viet Nam and New Zealand agribusiness to work more closely on areas of mutual interest and benefit. Vietnam’s agriculture sector is in a phase of rapid transformation structurally with the entry into the sector of large local conglomerates, many of which were represented at the workshop, and often with backgrounds in property and finance.
The challenges of moving into large scale agriculture production of fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as future ambitions in quality meat production and value-added food products, were discussed. There was a clear focus on the need to deliver to market safe food through decreased pesticide/chemical usage, disease and pest management, field to plate management and logistics, post-harvest value chain, and food processing technology.
All participants valued the opportunity to get such a diverse group of Viet Nam businesses around the table for an open and honest discussion and sharing aspirations and challenges for ‘Agriculture 4.0’ in Viet Nam as well as identifying opportunities for New Zealand businesses to assist.