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Digital Traceability of Agricultural Products in Vietnam

The Centre for Digital Transformation and Agricultural Statistics and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) in Vietnam held a forum on digital transformation. The forum aimed to promote digitalisation to support the traceability of agricultural and food products.

Nguyen Quoc Toan, Director of the Centre for Digital Transformation and Agricultural Statistics, explained that traceability is one of the eight key issues in the digital transformation of the sector. The involvement and collaboration of all stakeholders, ranging from government regulatory bodies to companies, cooperatives, and farmers, is necessary for the digitalisation of agricultural product traceability.

The objective of state management in this matter is to fulfil the demands of international integration, enhance transparency and accountability within the sector, and promote the interests of farmers. According to Toan, Vietnam currently has around 19,000 cooperatives, 14,200 enterprises, and 7,500 processing facilities in the agricultural sector. It also has about 9,400 supermarkets and markets, which constitutes the big data part of the sector.

Vietnamese agricultural products are now exported to almost 200 countries and territories worldwide and have gained increasing recognition and status in the global market. Ensuring the quality, safety, and transparency of the origin of these products is a crucial step for Vietnam to advance towards a multi-value integrated agriculture sector, where digitalisation plays a vital role.

An industry expert noted that creating a QR code for a single product is a straightforward process, and users can obtain product information within seconds. However, if the management is not sufficiently stringent, it could create a loophole that leads to the mixing of poor-quality products.

Huynh Tan Dat, the Deputy Director of the Plant Protection Department, emphasised the importance of comprehensive and detailed product traceability. He also stated that the department has established a national database that includes planting area codes and export packing facilities.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, which oversees the Centre for Digital Transformation and Agricultural Statistics, has a product tracing system. It is connected to eight similar systems in eight cities and provinces. This system has the participation of 3,964 enterprises and covers 16,987 agricultural and food products.

Agricultural data is unique to each region, and therefore, flexibility is crucial in the application of digital technology. Ministries and localities should introduce innovative programmes to promote agricultural digital transformation. Moreover, policies should be implemented to encourage farmers, cooperatives, and enterprises to utilise digitalisation in traceability.

Experts believe that rapid digital transformation is the best way for the Vietnamese agricultural sector to recover in the post-pandemic period. Data-driven digitisation in agricultural management is expected to help boost the sector’s growth through better market forecasting and planning.

Along with optimising local resources for the development of the value agriculture multiple and trademark building, Vietnam should build a data system and make its agricultural data more transparent, enabling it to reach more markets. On the other hand, many Vietnamese farmers are still hesitant to upgrade their cultivation practices and use new farming techniques. The government needs to strengthen communication with farmers, demonstrating the benefits of digitisation, and equipping them with the knowledge and skills to operate online.


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