by Reianne Quilloy and Trina Mendoza
To address this concern, the Asian Development Bank-IRRI Postharvest Project, through Nong Lam University (NLU) and in cooperation with the National Extension Center of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), organized a Seminar on Rice Postharvest and Laser Leveling for the Northern, Central, and Highland regions of VietNam on 30-31 July in Quang Ngai Province.
About 70 participants from the project’s partner universities, local government authorities, representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture, Trimble, and Ideal Farming Corporation attended the event. The seminar aimed to (1) identify problems, constraints, opportunities, and potential in expanding technologies in the northern, central, and highland regions of VietNam; (2) document viewpoints, directions for policy recommendations for promoting the laser leveling technology; and (3) discuss future commitments of the provinces.
A short field tour was conducted at the Quang Ngai Sugarcane Seed Center and Ngia Hinh District to show the participants the benefits and use of laser leveling technology. Partners from NLU’s Ho Chi Minh City and and Hue campuses presented the results of their assessments on the different rice postharvest technologies in VietNam. Ms. Truong Thi Thanh Nhan, one for the first buyers of the laser leveling equipment in Dak Lak Province, central VietNam, reported on the benefits she reaped by using the technology. Mark Heyward of Trimble presented their different business model proposals that interested farmers or farmers’ groups may consider if they want to purchase laser leveling equipment.
During the discussion, it was concluded that to expand the awareness of postharvest technologies in the country, there should be a developed policy to support farmers in terms of mechanization, land reform, and financial support; increased communication and extension activities in the different regions; established demonstration models for farmers to see the benefits of the technologies; and fostered collaborations in other rice-growing regions in VietNam.