The ministry said only a small percentage – 1.8% - of existing agricultural cooperatives have adopted advanced technology in their operation, while the goal is to raise the ratio to 10%, or 1,500 cooperatives.
The selection will be based on the Prime Minister’s Decision 575/QD-TTg approving a master plan for hi-tech agricultural zones and regions to 2020 with a vision to 2030.
Another basis will be the MARD’s Decision 738/QD-BNN-KHCN on criteria of hi-tech, and clean agricultural programmes and projects, and the list of advanced technologies in agriculture.
According to the MARD, priority will be paid to developing hi-tech agricultural cooperatives in regions designated as hi-tech agricultural zones and regions.
Specifically, hi-tech cooperatives will be developed for coffee growing in the Central Highlands, northwest and north central regions; tea in the northern province of Thai Nguyen and Oolong tea in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong; dragon fruit in the south central province of Binh Thuan; vegetable in the northern province of Lao Cai, Hanoi, Hai Phong, Ho Chi Minh City and Lam Dong; flower in Lao Cai, Hanoi, HCM City and Lam Dong; for-export fruit in southeast region and the Mekong Delta.
In the field of animal husbandry, there will be cooperatives applying hi-tech for raising dairy cow in the northern province of Son La, Hanoi, the central province of Nghe An, and Lam Dong; raising pigs in the Red River Delta and the southeast; and poultry in the Red River Delta, the northeast, north central region and the Mekong Delta.
In aquaculture, the focus is on salt and brackish water shrimp farming in the Red River Delta, north central and south central coastal regions, the southeast and the Mekong Delta.
The Government has put in place several mechanisms and policies supporting hi-tech agricultural cooperatives, such as Decree 193/ND-CP stipulating in details a number of articles of the Law on Cooperatives, Decree 55/2015/ND-TTg on credit policy for agriculture and rural development, and some decrees on the pipeline dealing with organic agriculture and linkages in marketing and sale of agricultural products.
Hi-tech agriculture is also eligible for capital from many programmes such as those on agricultural restructuring, agriculture promotion, vocational training and preferential credit for hi-tech production.