Farming startups: Need the spirit of “warriors”
In order to help farming start-ups have a successful business, many experts said that not only farmers themselves need the spirit of “warrior” with high determination to participate in the “economic battle”, this spirit must be expressed in many angles from the policy of the state to the thought, the spirit of each ministry leaders
Speaking at the conference “Solutions to help farming start-ups” held by Vietnam Farmers Association (on September 18, 2017) in Hanoi, Mr. Tran Van Tung, Deputy Minister of Science and Technology said: Startups in agriculture are now becoming a new trend in Vietnam. More and more companies are investing in agriculture. This is a good sign because agriculture is a special advantage of our country and start-ups are a good way to promote agricultural development.
However, currently, the number of enterprises in the agricultural sector is low, only accounting for 1% of the total number of enterprises operating in the country, which is not enough to develop into communities and ecosystems. Agricultural production is mostly small-scale, with poor infrastructure, cultivation, and services.
Besides, the enterprises have only paid attention to the production and processing of raw materials but have not paid much attention to the lean production as well as the activities of brand building, product promotion, application of science and technology to the cultivation.
According to Mr. Tung, the development of agriculture requires an ecosystem to promote startups. Specifically, farmers, startups in agriculture need to access markets in the region and international. Therefore, they should be given priority to participate in the public procurement market; quality standards on products. The goods of the start-up enterprises should be regularly updated and recognized so that they can trade their products and services in the domestic or export them.
Start-ups also need to regularly participate in fairs and conferences on startups in the world, to be widely communicated their products and services to expand the network of customers.
Regarding the start-ups in agriculture, especially focusing on farming start-ups, agricultural expert Hoang Trong Thuy acknowledged that start-up in agriculture requires a “warrior” spirit in the economic battle with great determination. This spirit must be shown clearly from the policy development level of the Government to the spirit of leaders at all levels and in each specific farmer.
Currently, the solutions provided by the state management agencies for farmers to start the business do not clearly express the spirit of “warrior”. Thus, it is difficult to call the “farmer-soldiers” to join the economic “battle”.
“In my opinion, it is important to identify what startup farmers need to support timely and appropriately. First of all, the farmers need the capital sources. Where is the capital, how to approach... that must be made clear. Second, in order to enter the market, they must understand the market, know how many barriers and difficulties are in the market. Only when understanding the market, start-up farmers can make decisions of investment, collaborate the suitable company, scientists... Currently, market information is not satisfactory response” he stressed.
Mr. Thuy also said that, in terms of legal policy, the farmers are too “swaying, easy to fall” when not fully understood. This is a factor that the state needs to support more positively.
Economic expert Tran Dinh Thien added: There must be legislation to protect farming startups, but farmers themselves must also understand the law, thereby turning the law into their tools. In addition, the spirit of “warrior” in the startup is not only manifested in the willingness to “volunteer” in the economic “battle” but also to choose to develop “class” products. Starting a career is different than a normal career. The startup is tied with the idea of business and the spirit of innovation.
About the solutions to help start a successful business in the agricultural sector, Mr. Tung suggested more clearly: Need a financial system, a financial mechanism to lead capital to start-up enterprises through the setting up venture capital funds, building a network of investors... “Agribusinesses that want to grow to need a favorable regulatory environment, so the state needs to build a legal framework for startups to boldly invest in agriculture; have appropriate support policies to promote start-up in agriculture”, Mr. Tung said.