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High tech farming brings safer, chemical free produce to market
24 | 08 | 2007
The high tech agriculture zone of Ha Noi Agriculture Development and Investment Co, which opened in 2003, has helped to bring what it says are "safer vegetables" to their customers

The zone, with a total capacity of VND24 billion, uses a sterilised greenhouse environment to raise seeds and grow vegetables. As a result, the products are completely fresh and uncontaminated.

Vegetables mature quicker and yields appear to be higher than normal. For example, cucumbers were harvested within 21 days and farmers are harvesting 250 to 300 flowers per cu.m in the greenhouse, compared with 20-30 flowers per cu.m in normal conditions outside.

With the new technology, the zone provides 2.5 million seeds and 400 tonnes of fresh vegetable to the market each year. And, thanks to the new methods and procedures, the company last year exported thousands of tonnes of fresh vegetables overseas, building a global market reputation, said Nguyet.

According to Phan Minh Nguyet, chairman of Ha Noi Agriculture Development and Investment Co, the new technology has been transferred to thousands of farmers around Ha Noi. However, he also added that the company could not always meet market demand as farmers sometimes violated their contracts.

"According to the contract, a farmer has to deliver 100 kilograms of tomatoes everyday, at a price of VND2,500 per kilogram. But they sometimes sell tomatoes to other companies who offer higher prices, and then lie to us saying that they could not harvest enough tomatoes that day", Nguyet explained.

Due to this problem, the company could not expand their production area last year.

According to Nguyet, the authorities need to become involved by developing management policies and programmes to exploit suburban potential.

At present, Ha Noi suburbs, such as Gia Lam, Tu Liem and Dong Anh, have many advantages for the development of high-tech agriculture zones. Also, many companies are ready to invest and sign contracts with farmers so they can mutually profit, according to the chairman.

If the state has the right policies and becomes involved in zone management it will attract investment for infrastructure. Also, the authorities can take action to prevent violations.

"With their involvement, the quality of products will also get better and better, which will bring increased benefits to the customers, farmers and global agriculture in general," concluded Nguyet.

Source: Vietnam News
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