Mekong Delta plan seeks flexible response to climate, market changes: Agriculture minister
CẦN THƠ — Agricultural planning is a crucial part of the Mekong Delta regional master plan that will help open opportunities, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Lê Minh Hoan has said.
The minister emphasised that each locality in the region should actively expand its connections and boost coordination of the whole region for mutual sustainable development.
Speaking at the launch of the Mekong Delta regional master plan on Tuesday, Hoan said that it would be a turning point for the socio-economic development of the region, awakening potential and tackling pending problems.
“Land can be fragmented, administrative boundaries can be divided, but development space cannot be fragmented, economic space cannot be divided,” Hoan said.
The Coordination Office for Agriculture and Rural Affairs in the Mekong Delta, based in Cần Thơ City, coordinated to integrate regional agricultural information through the digitisation of databases, production planning, and standardisation of input material areas and production processes.
The office also helps connect enterprises investing in high-tech agriculture and deep processing. It also forms a commodity chain through industry associations, helping to improve the quality of cooperatives and links between production and consumption.
It also coordinated the operation of irrigation works to ensure synchronisation of the whole system.
Hoan said that the agriculture ministry was actively negotiating and calling for investment projects in agricultural and rural logistics infrastructure, including a cold storage chain to preserve agricultural products at inter-district and inter-provincial levels along the Hậu and Tiền rivers.
Ecological, integrated agricultural models recently appeared in many localities in the region, such as the economic model under the forest canopy, the shrimp-rice model in the peninsula in Cà Mau, and the model of converting from monoculture of rice to multi-cropping and intercropping to increase incomes for farmers in the Đồng Tháp Mười (Plain of Reeds), Long Xuyên Quadrangle, a production model adapted to drought and salinity in the coastal provinces, models of ecotourism, agricultural and rural tourism.
Hoan said the agriculture ministry and relevant agencies and localities were developing a project on the establishment of a centre based in Cần Thơ specialising in processing farming products for the whole Mekong Delta region.
It is expected that the project would be submitted to the Prime Minister next month.
As the Mekong Delta region is very vulnerable to the negative impacts of climate change, like saltwater intrusion, declining water resources, deposited estuaries, landslides and subsidence, proactive and flexible responses were crucial, Hoan said.
“Water resources including fresh, brackish and salt water are closely and intimately linked with diverse agro-ecological zones,” Hoan said, emphasising that with the spirit of “proactive, flexible” responses to changes, more development opportunities would be opened.
For example, a sensor device integrated with artificial intelligence, measuring the concentration of salty lever on the Cổ Chiên River in Trà Vinh Province or the breeding of new drought-tolerant and salt-tolerant crops.
Regarding regional linkage in the Mekong Delta Region, Minister Hoan said that the link was not a combination of population, area, and tangible resources of 13 provinces and cities.
“Above all, it is openness, connecting thinking, connecting invisible and limitless resources, creating a harmonious relationship between the State, market and society, seeking new impulses, that will create a new development space,” he said.
Recently, many large corporations and enterprises had also implemented inter-provincial large-scale projects, promising to activate the potential of many localities at the same time. Those were optimistic signals that demonstrate the creativity, dynamism and vitality of the Delta, Hoan said.
“The point is that we need to connect and spread those values. Then, each locality, with its own specific conditions and strengths, will actively and harmoniously contribute to the overall economic space,” he said. “The Delta will become a complete economic entity, operating flexibly and dynamically.”
With effective planning and investment, the “Mekong Delta” brand could be recognised as an active example of overcoming the challenges that climate change creates, he said.
“With the issuance of a clear master plan, specific orientation along with investment priorities in infrastructure, logistics and services, investors, especially private investors will feel more secure and want to seek more opportunities in different fields,” he said. —
Over 57,000 ransomware attacks hit Vietnam in 2022
Vietnam suffered 57,389 ransomware attacks in 2022, the third-highest in Southeast Asia following Indonesia and Thailand.
The region recorded a total of 340,904 ransomware attacks targeting businesses last year, General Manager of Kaspersky for Southeast Asia Yeo Siang Tiong told a press briefing in Ho Chi Minh City on March 14.
Ransomware is a type of malware that locks a computer and mobile device or encrypts electronic files. To obtain the “decryption” key or retrieve data, a ransom is sought by the cybercriminals behind the attack.
Digital kidnappers are targeting enterprises in Southeast Asia, Mr. Yeo said, and the trend is forecast to continue increasing this year and see more complicated attacks.
Medigo’s app makes prescription deliveries available 24/7 in Vietnam
Now Ho Chi Minh City-based Medigo is planning to grow its telehealth ecosystem with $2 million in new funding by East Ventures, with participation from Pavilion Capital and Touchstone Partners.
The new capital will allow Medigo to expand its remote doctor consultations, medicine delivery services and home testing services, including blood tests, urine tests and pregnancy tests.
Medigo’s app connects users to nearby licenses pharmacies and delivers medicine within 20 minutes. It currently has 1,000 pharmacy partners in Hanoi, Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam’s three biggest cities, and will began expanding to Tier 2 cities, like Binh Duong, Vung Tau and Hai Phong, this year.
The startup’s CEO and co-fouder Ha Le began working on the app after he had trouble finding fever reducers for his daughter in the middle of the night. “When I was in university as a software engineer, I never thought that working in the healthcare space would be the center of my daily life, but now, it is my life’s mission,” he told TechCrunch.
Medigo has plenty of competitors, including Doctor Anywhere, Jio Health, Edoctor, Long Chau, Pharmacity and Rightnow. Le said Medigo differentiates by working with pharmacies that are open around the clock so it is able to operate 24/7 consistently. It also plans to connect different providers, so users can have more choices on the same platform.
In a statement about the investment, East Ventures managing partner Koh Wai Kit said, “Digital technologies can improve the accessibility and affordability of good quality healthcare. We are excited by Medigo’s mission to revolutionize pharmacies and healthcare services in Vietnam.”
Revenue from cybersecurity sector up 33% in Q1
The Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) recently reported positive results for the cybersecurity sector in the first quarter of 2023.
Specifically, the sector posted revenue of 252.8 billion VND (10.6 million USD) during the period, an increase of 33.5% year-on-year, resulting in a growth of 33.1% to 20.22 billion VND.
It contributed 21.8 billion VND to the State budget, up 50.6% over the same period last year.
According to the ministry, there are 103 cybersecurity enterprises operating in the industry during the period, a rise of 12% on-year, creating 3,492 jobs, up 10.6%. And the rate of domestic to foreign earnings reduced by 10.1% to 45.1%.
By the end of February, the total number of issued public digital certificates jumped 23.18% to nearly 5.87 million. Of which, the active ones rose 17.89% to approximately 1.9 million in February alone.
Its digital certificate status maintaining fees contributed an accumulated value of 10.79 billion VND to the State budget since the beginning of the year.
In the second quarter of 2023, MIC plans to create strategies to fulfil information security platforms for users both in Vietnam and foreign countries.
It also cooperates with the Committee on Science, Technology and Environment to complete the Law on Electronic Transactions and implement other tasks according to the guidance document No 652 in 2023.
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