Speeding Up Digital Transformation in Rural Areas

9:29:44 AM | 11/12/2021

Digital transformation is being seen as a requirement in the next phase of new countryside construction. Applying digital technology is key to opening a new future for agriculture and ending segmented, inefficient production and weak connectivity in the value chain that has lasted for years.

Remarkable progress

To apply digital transformation in new countryside construction, localities need to solve many problems. For example, digital infrastructure must have synchronous machinery and equipment. At present, some people, especially the elderly, do not have or do not use personal devices that meet digital transformation requirements such as computers and smartphones. Besides, Internet and wifi coverage must be fully invested for people to access them anytime, anywhere. In digital commerce, it is difficult to launch it early because production in rural areas is segmented. To join digital commerce, production needs to be adjusted to standard processes to ensure production output and quality, and carry full stamps and labels of traceability and origin. In particular, it is necessary to establish a chain link from production to consumption. Currently, the province has just a few products brought into value chains, including cow's milk, vegetables, tubers and fruits produced with safety standards.

Mr. Bui Cong Anh, Deputy Director of the Thanh Hoa Provincial Coordination Office for Rural Development, said, in addition to fostering scientific and technological application to agricultural production, Thanh Hoa has accelerated digital application to management and administration of new countryside construction. The coordination office always focuses on information technology application to management and administration like using TDOffice document management software, facilitating localities to grasp and update documents and instructions on the New Rural Development Program and the OCOP Program.

To avoid being left behind in digital transformation, Ha Tinh province has quickly developed the Agricultural Digital Transformation Plan and the One Commune One Product (OCOP) Program. Specifically, the province operated the Ha Tinh OCOP Program management system; the OCOP grading and rating system; the OCOP product management and the OCOP product trade information channel integrated on the website https://dlsntm.vn/, initially bringing certain economic benefits to people.

Digital transformation has produced positive results: Not only improving quality and productivity but also significantly enhancing management and business methods in the agricultural sector.

Toward a smart new countryside

According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, digital transformation application in new countryside construction in some localities is spontaneous. Hence, it is necessary to take an overall, comprehensive and active approach with appropriate steps and roadmaps to more sustainable rural development. Given this reality, in the Program for New Rural Development in 2021-2025, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development will implement six key thematic projects to further improve life quality of rural people and address current pressing problems in new countryside construction after 10 years of implementation, including digital transformation in new countryside construction towards the smart countryside in the 2021-2025 period. Recently, the National Assembly approved the investment policy for the National Target Program for New Rural Development in 2021-2025.

According to the National Coordination Office for New Rural Development, the project will aim at many important goals, including digitization acceleration, information technology application and digital technology in new countryside construction. At the same time, it will foster information technology and digital technology in order to fundamentally change management, administration and supervision of all-level government agencies, especially at the grassroots level, and in manufacturing and business activities of enterprises, cooperatives and trade villages, especially the One Commune One Product (OCOP) Program. The project will develop a safe and popular digital environment in rural areas, enhance the quality and sustainability of new countryside construction to move towards the smart new countryside and successfully carry out the national digital transformation program. In addition, digital transformation will help develop a set of national criteria for a smart countryside to submit to competent authorities for approval in the 2026-2030 period. Digital transformation, part of the project, defines people, cooperatives and agricultural enterprises as the center of digital transformation in new countryside construction.

Mr. Nguyen Minh Tien, Chief of the National Coordination Office for New Rural Development, said digital transformation is a broad trend of society and digital transformation in rural construction is a new approach to create a driving force for development. This trend will change the perception of officials and people and give a facelift to the countryside. At the same time, it will support changing this approach and carry out new countryside construction in the coming time. When this project is implemented, it will be difficult to avoid confusion. Hence, localities need to be active and resolved to bring digital transformation into smart countryside construction. The National Coordination Office for New Rural Development and the Policy Institute are determined to soon carry out the project and component projects.

Within the Project for Digital Transformation in New Rural Development Toward Smart Countryside in 2021-2025, priority projects will be launched for 2021-2023. Pilot models of smart villages and communes in some provinces will be reviewed for better implementation in 2024-2025. Smart village and commune criteria will be supplemented to match development trends and demands of the Vietnamese countryside in the 2026-2030 period.

By Bao Dan, Vietnam Business Forum