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January 27, 2022, 3:16 pm

Scientists leave research institutes, farmers become engineers

(10:53:46 AM 21/11/2013)
( - More and more scientific agriculturalists leave research institutes for better-paid jobs. As a result, farmers have to become unwilling inventors.


Vietnam’s agriculture lags behind others by 50 years


According to the former Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Cong Tan, the Vietnamese agriculture and forestry science makes up 30 percent of the added value in production.


Meanwhile, the figures are 40-70 percent some provinces of China and 80-90 percent in developed economies.


If the contribution of the agriculture and forestry science to the production increases only by one percent per annum, Vietnam would need 50 more years to catch up with the developed countries.


The Vietnamese livestock industry still cannot create breeding stock, while the majority of animal feed have been imported, from maize to supplement food. No research institute can give the answer to the farmers’ question which plants they should grow in the areas with hills and mountains which can bring the turnover of VND20 million a year.


The post-harvest loss remains high, while the machines for agriculture production cannot be made domestically.


According to Chu Van Thien, a senior official of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), 90 percent of the combine harvesters in Mekong Delta are the imports.


The imports are from different sources, the quality of which remains uncontrollable. Regarding the mechanization in agriculture production, the domestically made 2-wheel tractors have become backward, while 99 percent of 4-wheel products are mostly the imports.


“I hear that a workshop in the former province of Ha Tay has invented this kind of machine, but the invention has not been put into commercial production,” he said.


Scientists leave research institutes


Local newspapers these days repeatedly warn that farmers have given up farming in many provinces, calling this a “big problem.” Meanwhile, Dr. Le Kim Son, Head of the Institute for Policy and Strategy on Agriculture and Rural Development, repeatedly warns that scientists leave research institute, which he calls a bigger problem.


According to Son, the brain drain has been occurring over the last five years. Scientists have been quitting their jobs at the research institutes, especially the ones far from the cities.


Vietnam spends VND1 trillion a year on agricultural science, of which 1/3 is paid to scientists and researchers, about 6,000 at 10 institutes. The modest pay to scientists has prompted them to leave the institutes for better jobs.


Nguyen Tri Hoan, head of the Food Crops Research institute, said 3-4 scientists with master degree have left the institute over the last few years to work for some foreign companies.


“With the new jobs, they can earn VND30 million a month, while they got only VND3 million when they were the researchers at the institute,” Hoan said.


“A lot of researchers go studying abroad and they don’t want to return to Vietnam,” he continued.


Dr. Le Van Banh, Head of the Mekong Delta Rice institute, said 16 researchers are following the training courses to obtain doctorate, while the other 23 for master degree. However, he is not sure if they will return to Vietnam after the training courses finish.

Tien Phong

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