With the right blend of focus, support and adaptability, Vietnam should represent an attractive growth opportunity for Australia's AgTech innovators, according to director at Beanstalk Agtech and Global Program Lead for GRAFT Vietnam Challenge 2021 Justin Ahmed.
He made the remark on September 30 at the launch of a report entitled “Accelerating AgTech: Australia’s opportunity in Vietnam” by Asialink Business Centre under the University of Melbourne and Beanstalk AgTech food and agriculture innovation agency.
The report, part of the Australia-Vietnam Enhanced Economic Engagement Grant (AVEG) pilot programme funded by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), identifies four key areas where Australian innovators can help Vietnam's agricultural sector overcome challenges, which are sustainability, climate resilience, productivity, and food quality and safety.
As agriculture has been a cornerstone of the Australia-Vietnam relationship, the report aimed to give specific analysis about the agricultural environments of the two countries, laying the foundation for collaboration to drive innovation, address shared challenges, support rural economies and enhance competitiveness.
Robert Law, Director of Research & Insights of Asialink Business, said Vietnam’s agriculture sector is rapidly transforming and poised for further growth.
One out of every three workers in Vietnam engages in the agricultural sector. The country’s agricultural sector generates more than US$56 billion per year through the export of rice, coffee and seafood, he said. However, the sector faces many shared challenges with Australia such as balancing cost and output with environmental impacts.
Smart agriculture technologies can offer alternates for traditional labour and water-intensive production methods in both countries, he said, adding that Australia and Vietnam can share expertise and boost AgTech opportunities.
According to Ahmed, to remain competitive, it was necessary for Vietnam to invest in more efficient, high-quality and sustainable production.