Tech-savvy kids aid rice farmers through Japanese web project

HCM CITY - A new programme seeks to use tech-savvy children as intermediaries to help poorly educated farmers in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta draw on Japanese agricultural expertise.

The Youth Meditated Communication - Viet Nam (YMC-Viet) project, inaugurated on Thursday in HCM City, has signed on 30 farmers' children aged between 11 and 15 from Tra On District, Vinh Long Province.

They have been trained to use mobile phones and computers to take photos of fields, crops, and others, measure temperature, humidity, and other crop data, report questions from the farmers, and upload them all in the system.

The system will automatically translate the information from Vietnamese to English and Japanese and send them to Japan for experts' consideration.

When there are replies from any of the 15 experts at six universities and research institutes, the children will carry out the process in reverse.

The project will be piloted through this month.

"The project will encourage Viet Nam to deploy the latest and most modern technologies in agriculture," Trieu Van Hung, head of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) 's Science, Technology and Environment Department, told the inaugural ceremony.

The project involves more than 50 experts from the Japanese Government, non-profit organisation Pangaea, universities and institutes, and companies like NTT Communications Corporation.

"After the pilot ends, we will have plans to expand," Masato Gato, president of NTT, said.

The project, funded by Japan, will cost 76 million Japanese yen (US$600,000)

-Viet Nam News/Asia News Network