Son La strives to become high-tech agricultural hub of northwestern region

(VOVWORLD) - By 2025 Son La province aims to become a center of high-tech agriculture and agricultural production and processing in the northwestern region. Following its success growing fruit trees on sloping land, Son La has found multiple creative ways suited to local conditions to promote green growth and achieve its goals.

Son La strives to become high-tech agricultural hub of northwestern region - ảnh 1The custard-apple growing area using high-tech in Co Noi commune in Mai Son district, Son La province.

The plum orchard of Vi Van Viet, a Sinh Mun ethnic minority man who lives in Bon Cam hamlet, has produced bumper harvests over the years. The harvest often lasts for nearly 4 months, from April to July, and plums sell for a good price – between 3 USD and 4.3 USD per kilo at the beginning and end of the harvest. Viet attributes his success to technology application.

“We used to grow mainly corn and cassava, but the profits were small. After studying, visiting, and learning from efficient plum models, I decided to invest in plums. In previous years, we’ve earned at least 9,000 USD per crop.”

In the border commune of Phieng Khoai, plum trees are planted on steep hillsides, replacing corn. More than 400 local households are engaged in growing plums and taking care of 200 hectares of early-ripening plums.

Phieng Khoai people have invested in automatic watering systems that cost 2,000 USD per hectare.

Nguyen Khanh Toan, Director of the Toan Phat Agricultural Service Cooperative in Phieng Khoai, said the Cooperative’s 60 hectares of plums are planted and cared for according to the VietGAP standards. Production is monitored using a camera system.

The Cooperative has many orders, said Toan, adding, “In the domestic market, we have had standing orders for many years. Our products are sold in traditional markets, on e-commerce platforms, and via social networks. When our plums are qualified for export, we’ll sign contracts to sell to other countries.”

The Me Lech Cooperative in Mai Son district has 20 households who grow custard-apples on more than 150 hectares. Cooperative members have invested in machines to harrow, spray water, and spray fertilizer.
Son La strives to become high-tech agricultural hub of northwestern region - ảnh 2Sprinkler irrigation systems have been installed in Muong Sang, Moc Chau district, Son La province to serve agricultural production.

Nguyen Huu Tu, the Cooperative’s Director, said, “It’s difficult to grow custard-apple trees, so the Cooperative has applied high tech, particularly organic production and drip or sprinkler irrigation systems. An irrigation system for one hectare costs nearly 10,000 USD. We have also connected with companies and supermarkets to help the locals sell their products.”

Son La now has 22,500 hectares following the VietGAP or equivalent standards and 281 growing area codes issued for 4,600 hectares growing fruit for export.

The province is home to 17 factories and more than 500 agricultural processing facilities. Its agricultural, forestry, and fishery production grew more than 7% in 2021.

Despite COVID-19 and the global economic downturn, its agricultural product value increased 2.2% last year and 5.7% in the first half of this year.

Nguyen Huu Dong, Secretary of the provincial Party Committee, said that in 2020 Son La province issued 2 resolutions on developing high-tech agriculture, forestry, and fisheries products and an agricultural processing industry.

“The central Government wants Son La to become the center of agricultural production and processing for the northwestern region. Pursuant to the Party Politburo’s conclusion, we’ll prioritize the development of renewable energy and pay special attention to the agricultural processing industry,” said Dong.

Despite numerous difficulties, Son La, a mountainous border province, is determined to promote innovation and creativity and overcome limitations and challenges in order to achieve fast, sustainable growth and become the center of high-tech agricultural application and agricultural production and processing for the Northwestern region where ethnic people can enjoy a prosperous life.