In the busy streets of Hanoi, history was made last month. CABI Southeast Asia (CABI-SEA) signed a memorandum of understanding with Agricultural Multimedia Joint Stock Company (AgriMedia) – a private company working in the field of agriculture. As a pioneer in M2M applications in agriculture, AgriMedia was established in 2014 and aims to provide a wide range of effective agricultural solutions via agricultural information services on mobile phone and applications from smart agricultural technologies.
With 50 staff, advanced agricultural technologies and a broad network of leading agricultural experts in Vietnam, AgriMedia is committed to provide high-quality and timely agricultural information related to domestic and global commodity price and market, weather forecast advisory or expert advice on agriculture techniques, bringing benefits to farmers and agricultural enterprises in Vietnam. In fact, AgriMedia is the only private company to be given a licence by the government to provide weather forecast. It currently works with a Japanese company to provide services using smart weather stations installed in the central agro-ecological zones of Vietnam.
CABI-SEA representatives met with To Duc Hai, the CEO of AgriMedia, during one of the Plantwise stakeholder meetings and gauged their interest in rural advisory. AgriMedia has shown a keen interest in working with CABI-SEA, and with the Plantwise program in particular, in order to provide value-added services to the small landholders of Vietnam. Their specific interests are in commodity crops such as pepper and coffee, which matches with the vision of Plantwise in Vietnam in its further engagement with pepper association as private sector engagement strategy for the country.
AgriMedia’s 14 smart weather stations help them to disseminate weather related information to their subscribed farmers. Aware that climate change is affecting global pest dynamics, they are seeking the help of Plantwise to help them with the field data on pests and diseases in key areas of the country. This will help the farmers take action against the pest as forecasted by the change in weather in a particular area.
AgriMedia plans to bring the local experts on pepper and coffee together to review existing literature on the pest problems on these crops. The material will also include Plantwise’s Pest Management Decision Guides. The workshop, which will be facilitated by CABI, will help AgriMedia to validate and revise the literature with updated knowledge and convert them into short messages for dissemination through Agrimedia channels. A particular focus – specifically requested by Vietnam’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development – will be dissemination via mobile apps.
“We are very happy that this material is already in Vietnamese; it can be readily used through our systems to reach out farmers with pest specific information,” To Duc Hai noted. He strongly believes that business in any sector should bring benefit to society as a whole, which is why he is looking forward to a strong partnership with Plantwise in Vietnam.
Contributed by Malvika Chaudhary, CABI