Telecom, ICT firms bring agriculture sector into focus

February 4, 2016 | 09:52 am GMT+7

Many telecom and information and communication technology (ICT) enterprises have prepared services and solutions targeting the agricultural sector and farmers given mobile services market saturation.


Mobile packages for farmers

Telecommunications Service Corporation (VNPT-VinaPhone) has introduced Nong thon xanh (Green rural areas) service to provide mobile information for farmers, shortly after MobiFone launched a similar service in December 2015.
Viettel, one of the three largest telecom networks in Vietnam, became the first provider of mobile service for farmers by launching it nearly two years ago.
With the services, the enterprises provide information about weather and environment indexes to help farmers control diseases, improve husbandry and cultivation and learn about farm produce prices at home and abroad. Updated information is texted to farmers to assist them in drawing up production plans.
According to service providers, scientists and their contributors will edit information and give recommendations on advanced technique application, materials, price, market connection, and disease and calamity control. The service is provided through mobile packages and priced from VND5,000-7,000 (0.22 to 0.31 U.S. cents) per week.
Nguyen Van Hanh, Deputy Director of MobiFone’s multimedia service and value added center, said most local farmers lack husbandry and cultivation knowledge, new technology and market information. Therefore, the service aims at informing them of updates about produce prices and market developments in Vietnam and abroad.
To ensure accurate information, MobiFone has placed eight Internet weather stations iMETOS and cooperated with the National Center for Hydro-meteorological Forecasting. The enterprise will improve its weather forecast facilities.
In the coming time, VNPT-VinaPhone will continue to launch new products and services for farmers.
ICT applications for farmers
Aside from mobile packages, Viettel has deployed ICT applications for the agricultural sector.
Bui Quang Huy, Deputy Director of Viettel’s community solution center, said that the enterprise has launched the website at to give information support to farmers and the agricultural sector. Each month, Viettel posts revenue of around VND7 billion from ICT application development for the sector.
At present, Viettel is facing a lack of staff knowledgeable of the agricultural industry. Having 56 million subscribers, including 10 million farmers, Viettel plans telecom charge reductions or exemptions for ICT applications and solutions, especially in the agricultural sector, Huy said.
Not only telecom firms but also ICT companies have launched programs to seize the opportunities in the agricultural sector.
Recently, FPT Corporation has cooperated with its Japanese partner Fujitsu to launch ICT solutions for agriculture in Vietnam. They have worked together to develop a smart agricultural center to help improve productivity.
As part of their cooperation project, the FPT-Fujitsu Akisai farm and vegetable factory was opened to develop modern agricultural production models for application in the country based on Fujitsu’s information technology (IT) solutions and experiences in agriculture. They will apply the greenhouse and vegetable factory models to grow agricultural products of high added value.
FPT will organize a seminar on the models applicable to Moc Chau Province. In the coming time, the firm plans to turn Moc Chau into a second Dalat City, which now takes the lead in Vietnam in ICT application, to sell its solutions.
Hanel Company has also expressed interest in the sector although it has yet to launch any solutions or applications.
Hanel’s General Director Nguyen Quoc Binh said at a recent meeting with Vice Chairwoman of the National Assembly Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan that many countries have developed a smart agriculture model with many ICT applications for food origin management, online exchange floor and automatic farming solutions. However, in Vietnam, smart agriculture remains underdeveloped.
Binh suggested the Government create a proper investment mechanism for the model by developing concentrated ICT zones, science-technology funds and ICT center chains nationwide.