In over last 20 years, the agricultural science sector in Vietnam has been trying to research, select and create lots of high ?quality crop varieties, in order to serve the agricultural production. However, all these are not enough to make a great change, because there has still been so much limitation and inadequacy in doing research.
According to the statistic of The Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development, Vietnam currently has 25 scientific organizations, specializing in researching, selecting and creating new varieties, as well as many domestic and foreign companies also taking part in this field. During 20 years (1986-2004), the researching system had developed and selected of 345 new nationally-recognized varieties, including, 149 rice varieties, 44 maize ones, 19 soybean ones, and 14 peanut ones? Especially, in some recent years, the breeding technology has changed remarkably through the combination of traditional technologies (uni-breeding, cross breeding, selecting) with modern technologies.
The low rate of transfering new varieties
Prof and Academician Dao The Tuan said: ? Although a lot of new varieties have been researched and selected, the number of that are broght to cultivation is very modest because of the complicated transfer procedure?.
In fact, lots of new varieties are now researched for experiment. It is impossible to bring them into mass cultivation. In order to explain to this matter, Mr Nguyen Ngoc Kinh- former chief of Department of Science and Technology (Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development) said:? It is lack of coordination between research organizations and breeding companies to deploy and apply new varieties into production. This leads to the situation that the importing of new varieties is unplanned and uncontrolled, causing critical loss?.
According to a number or scientists, the budget allocating procedure for scientific research is still adequate because it is mainly depends on the topics (70%) and research budget is the main income of research units. And this is causing a problem that the scientists only compete with each other for the topics and projects, not for creating new quality products.
?Annually, we recognize lots of new varieties, however factually there is a number of varieties that never been brought into cultivation because the unacceptance of the market?, said Dr MaiQuang Vinh- Director of Transfering Progressive Science and Technology Center (Institute of Agricultural Genetics). Therefore, it is nesseary to apply the research mechanism on contracting order. Accordingly, before conducting research any varieties, the consumption orientation must be defined.
It is nessesary to build a scientific research market.
Vietnam has a big agricultural market, the quantity of varieties consumes annually upto thousands of tons. However, the country currently has to import a great amount of varieties from the foreigners, especially 70-80% of the rice varieties in Vietnam is originated from China.
The big dependence on Chinese varieties has made the breeding sector of Vietnam very passive. because of the principle that any varieties must be producted in China at least 5 years before being imported into Vietnam, a lot of varieties begin degenerating only when being brought into cultivation in Vietnam as the different ecological condition and farming habits.
One reason to explain why Vietnam depend on importing such a big amount foreign varieties is that: many Vietnamese companies import certain varieties and conduct research on the same gene and material resources at the same time (such as soybean, maize, peanut, and bean). So that, the products are not diversified, and uncompetable with the imported.
The cause of this situation can be defined as the lack of fundermental scientific research basic in our selecting and creating new breeds; the indiversified gene resources; the pressure of time, and the lack of capital. Due to that, the researchers usually ?give birth? of their works too soon?, said Dr Do Nang Vinh- vice chief of Institute of Agricultural Genetics.
One of the solutions to solve all these problem is to have a sufficient mechanism to bring progressive scientific achievements into production, especially to develop scientific research market?, said Mr Bui Ba Bong- Deputy Ministor of Agricultural and Rural Development. Only when the scientific research market is built, will the competition appear; and the mechanism of supplying scientific research expenses will be abolished. Insteading, the State only give advance payment for the researchers, whenever the projects are completed and applied into production as ?the order?, do they pay all the expenses as the contracts. And the new mechanism does not give the chance for only Institutes of Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development to receive the orders, any organization can meet the requirement of the orders has opportunity to win the contract and receive the orders.
According to the planned strategy, in upcoming 5 years (2006-2010), the agricultural science sector of Vietnam will focus on researching five main varieties: desease resistance, drough tolerance, high-yields, and high quality; as well as research genome of crops and collect ?allele mining? gene resource and coordinated gene.
(Translated form Today Countryside - July 2005)