Australia helps Central Highlands use innovation in agriculture and food industry

Friday, 10/06/2022 21:29
(CPV) - The five provinces of Vietnam’s Central Highlands, Dak Lak, Dak Nong, Gia Lai, Kon Tum and Lam Dong have come together to launch a Regional Innovation Cluster.

The Regional Innovation Cluster, set up with assistance from the Australian Government's Aus4Innovation program, will serve as a forum for researchers, businesses and business groups, governments, and farmers to come together and address the agricultural sector’s challenges and opportunities.

The signing of a partnership protocol for the Central Highlands’ Regional Innovation Cluster between representatives of 5 Central Highlands provinces and representatives of CSIRO, with the witness of Australian Deputy Head of Mission Mark Tattersall and Vice Minister Science and Technology Tran Van Tung.

The cluster aims to use innovation to create a resilient and competitive agriculture and food industry for the region.

The Central Highlands’ Regional Innovation Cluster is an initiative catalysed by the Australian Government’s Aus4Innovation program.

Through its local partner, the Community Development Centre, Aus4Innovation is establishing a forum for local researchers, businesses, government, farmers and associations to convene and co-develop solutions to industry challenges and opportunities for the region’s industrial agricultural products.

At the event, a partnership protocol was signed between the five provinces and Aus4Innovation program under the witness of Deputy Head of Mission Mark Tattersall from the Australian Embassy and Vice Minister of Science and Technology Tran Van Tung.

The protocol is expected to give the Innovation Cluster legitimacy to operate across the region. Aus4Innovation has also committed to provide seed funding for the Cluster in its first year.

In his speech, Deputy Head of Mission Mr. Mark Tattersall said “Australia is working in partnership with the Central Highlands on various activities, from transport and public governance to agriculture and food. We believe that withthe region’s significant advantages in agriculture and food production, a collaboration that brings together farmers and businesses across five provinces is the perfect model with which to explore opportunities and advance shared goals.”

 Tran Van Tung (2nd, L), Deputy Minister of Science and Technology, introduces to Australian Deputy Head of Mission Mark Tattersall (R) and Aus4Innovation Program Director Kim Wimbush (C) about coffee and other agri-food products of the Central Highlands.

As the host of the event, the Standing Vice Chairman of Dak Lak’s Provincial People’s Committee, Mr Nguyen Tuan Ha shared: “The Central Highlands region is a major agricultural hub, known for many crops with high market and export value such as pepper, coffee and fruits. But the agri-food sector is yet to reach its full potential. With about two million hectares of agricultural land, there is a lot more we can do to improve income and livelihoods for the people and sustain economic benefits for businesses.”

Aiming to kick-start the activities of the Cluster, common and individual priorities for the five provinces have now been collected and will be used to guide joint activities, networking and training.

The Aus4Innovation program is now identifying experts and creating training opportunities for provincial stakeholders to bring in knowledge and experiences from Australia.

Aus4Innovation is an AUD14.5-million (USD10.3 million) program run by Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization in collaboration with Vietnam’s Ministry of Science and Technology.

It has launched other agricultural initiatives across the country such as Horticulture Innovation in the north and the Mekong Aquaculture Innovation Cluster./.


Minh Van