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AI in agriculture production still underused in Vietnam


Seagull ADC in Hau Giang province is hailed as the pioneer in using AI in agricultural production. At its farms, sensors are used to measure the humidity in melon-growing membrane houses. If the humidity is too high, the system will automatically turn on ventilators to suck moisture out, and if the temperature becomes too high, a screen will be activated to shade plants.

Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao, deputy CEO of VinEco, is satisfied about the results.

“AI solutions help us build up different production plans for different weather, land and climate conditions,” she said.

Farmers in Tay Ninh, the partners of Lavifood, have also been applying AI solutions in cultivation. The solutions tell them how much fertilizer they need to use and how much water to irrigate, after considering the humidity level.

Lavifood can get detailed information about types of soil and the crops suited to that soil. It has joined forces with some enterprises to produce specific fertilizer products that help improve soil and support plantation.

While AI has become popular in many countries, it has only been applied in Vietnam recently.

Lam Dong province is expected to become the ‘metropolis of hi-tech agriculture’ of Vietnam as its farmers have many advanced solutions in cultivation there. The provincial authorities decided that smart agriculture is what the province is striving for.

Obstacles

Even the companies utilizing AI solution in production admit that they are meeting difficulties using high technology.

Tran Phong Lan, director of Seagull ADC, said the company is trying to set sensors to control fruit quality after harvest and during transportation.

“Fruits, when they are carried from orchards to distribution points, may suffer from thermal shock, which affect their quality if the storage temperature cannot be stabilized,” he explained.

“We are brainstorming solutions to this problem,” he said.

Ho Tu Bao from John von Neumann Institute also said that a database is important in digitalizing production. However, Vietnam’s businesses do not know how to collect and exploit data.

Dr Nguyen Ky Tai from Southern Queensland University, said Vietnam’s farming scale remains modest, which makes it difficult to collect and process data. Moreover, investments in modern machines and automation are beyond the capability of the majority of farmers. Meanwhile, the possibility of localizing agriculture machines is not high. And Vietnam still has not begun building a big data ecosystem.

VMNnews

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He has spent VND700 million (US$30,400) in 2015 to build a greenhouse system over 2,000sq.m to grow cantaloupe melons.

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