Use of digital tools in sustainable rice production in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam

September 11, 2023 | Rice Today (IRRI) |

A review of the digital ecosystem in the rice value chain in Vietnam highlights the limited presence of digital tools focused on rice production. Although a small proportion of surveyed farmers use agriculture-specific digital apps for rice farming, 75% express their willingness to use mobile apps for farming needs. This suggests a potential gap between farmers' needs and the offerings of existing tools. Face-to-face interactions with field agents remain the most common and trusted methods for technical advice and performance assessment for farmers. Digital messaging tools complement these processes but do not replace in-person interactions. Information flows in digital formats are strongest for weather, crop variety, and market-related topics, while topics like irrigation, drainage, harvest, and post-harvest have the least digital exchange. The majority of farmers who can access agricultural applications are male, indicating the need for gender-inclusive digital tools and a deeper analysis of gender roles in agriculture. The findings support the Agroecological TRANSITIONS program and the Agricultural Transition Digital Tools (ATDT) project, which focuses on research and engagement with digital tools for sustainable rice production in the Mekong River Delta.