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Soc Trang province: Farmers get the new lives thanks to smart agriculture
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Many farmers in Soc Trang province have boldly converted production towards smart agriculture, bringing high incomes.

According to Soc Trang Farmers’ Union, with many practical solutions made, the movement "Farmers’ emulation in good production and business, solidarity to help each other make wealth and achieve sustainable poverty reduction" has grown strongly, widespread among members, farmers in Soc Trang province.
The smart agriculture that farmers have practiced in 3 fields of cultivation, husbandry and processing of agricultural products in recent years have made good starts. In the field of crop production, evidences was shown in the development of organic agriculture, drip irrigation technology as well as efforts to apply scientific and technical advances, strengthened links and support from related stakeholders in the agricultural production.

A model of red ganoderma lucidum production applying biotechnology of a household in Tran De town. Photo taken by Truong Thanh.

The positive news is that there are many businesses pouring their investment in and associating with cooperatives, production and businesses establishments and farmer households to develop smart technologies, expand markets, contributing to creating new advantages to accelerate overall growth in the province.
Typically, the household of Mr. Co Van Ni, living in Tran De Town, Tran De District, has cooperated with Viet Uc Company to invest in the model of red Ganoderma lucidum and cordyceps sinensis cultivation by biotechnology. Owing to the application of 4.0 technology process in combination with electronic sensors to help control temperature, humidity and environment, the mushroom grows well, labor day is saved, the harvest time is shortened to 3 months for cordyceps sinensis and 5 months for ganoderma lucidum.
According to Mr. Ni, using biotechnology to help red Ganoderma products and cordyceps sinensis products have no residues of chemicals, plant protection chemicals,  meet the hygiene and food safety standards. Since then, products are completely underwritten with high prices.
To address problems caused by drought and saltwater intrusion which are becoming increasingly fierce in Cu Lao Dung, Mr. Tran Van Phuc, living in Dai An 1 commune, Cu Lao Dung district has improved and applied the versatile irrigation system for Ido longan garden in a way that is suitable for the local soil.

By improving, applying a versatile irrigation system for Ido longan garden, Mr. Phuc has saved costs and increased the productivity. Photo taken by Truong Thanh.

With his knowledge and experience in long-term production, Mr. Phuc carried out the Ido longan transplants with buff longan root to replace and convert the seed in the fastest, most effective way that cost is 50% lower than the new planting, harvest time also shortened 18 months compared to new planting.
Mr. Phuc said: "The multi-function irrigation system is very convenient, all kinds of control valves are self-operated, each small sprinkler is piped under the roots and water is sprayed through little holes on the sprinkler. This system provides irrigation water, fertilizer, nutrients directly to the root of the tree, helping the roots to absorb efficiently, without wasting water, and adjusting the amount of irrigation water according to specific time".
Since implementing this model, Mr. Phuc has reduced labor days by more than 70%, saved more than 50% of water compared to conventional irrigation, increased productivity by 15-20%. In addition, by utilising the versatile irrigation systems with water and fertilizer savings and spraying smoke to dismiss insects in stead of plant protection chemicals, costs have been reduced by 50%.
Mr. Phuc is currently the director of the Smart Agricultural Cooperative that has signed a contract to export Ido longans to the European market.
The application of science and technology to agricultural production, industrialization and modernization of agriculture and rural areas in combination with the master plan of production areas are the sustainable solutions to agriculture development in the face of the challenge of climate change.
In recent years, all levels of Soc Trang Farmers’ Union have actively implemented proactive consultancy, support service and vocational training activities to help members and farmers develop production, create jobs and increase income.
Activities to support members and farmers to develop production at all levels of Farmers' Union in Soc Trang province are based on local practical needs and socio-economic development programs and plans, meeting the goal of restructuring agriculture associated with building a new rural area, contributing to build a strong organization./.

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