On 22nd December 2022,  International Cooperation Office and Specialized research group on Preservation and Processing of Plant-Based Materials, Faculty of Food Science and Technology (FST), Vietnam National University of Agriculture (VNUA) organized a seminar with the participation of Prof. Dr. Josse De Baerdemaeker from KU Leuven, Belgium to present and consult on the topic entitled “Smart agriculture for a resilient food system”. The purpose of this seminar was for the international expert and the research team to exchange and update scientific information in the field of food science and technology, approaching new trends in smart precision farming for a resilient food system. At the same time, it laid the foundation for strengthening a long-lasting partnership in training and research between the VNUA and KU Leuven.

Attending the seminar, there were Assoc. Prof. Nguyen Viet Long, Head of International Cooperation Office; Assoc. Prof. Nguyen Thi Bich Thuy, Research team leader, and other team members and lecturers of the Faculty of Food Technology. In addition, there was the participation of Assoc. Prof. Nguyen Van Loc, Deputy Head of the Department of Food Crops, Faculty of Agronomy and Dr. Nguyen Thi Hien, Head of Electrical Engineering Department, Faculty of Engineering.

Opening the program, Assoc. Prof. Tran Thi Dinh, a member of the research team gave a brief introduction to Prof. Dr. Josse De Baerdemaeker fields of expertise, scientific activities, and international publications of his research team. After a brief introduction about VNUA by Assoc. Prof. Nguyen Viet Long, Head of International Cooperation Office, two parties proposed cooperation activities between KU Leuven and VNUA, including both short-term exchange of staff and students to develop joint training programs between VNUA and KU Leuven and joint research programs between the two universities.

Next, Prof. Dr. Jose De Baerdemaeker presented some of the results of his research team about (i) Value chains in agricultural production; (ii) Challenges in sharing and accessing data; (iii) Artificial intelligence (AI) for precision agriculture; (iv) Precision agriculture based on digital agriculture; and (v) Robotics and technologies in fruit and vegetable production. In particular, he emphasized the importance of farmers in collecting information on soil, water, air, crop yield, pests, diseases, weeds, and biodiversity in real-time every year to improve data for AI models to make predictions and provide advice on agricultural production.

Prof. Josse De Baerdemaeker also shared information and successful experiences on the establishment of science and technology enterprises (spin-off company) in KU Leuven such as the enterprise of preserving fruits and vegetables by controlling the gas composition in the storage environment, the enterprise of disease control of livestock farms by digital and mathematical models incorporating with technological parameters of the livestock process.

After that, there were fruitful discussions between the Belgian scientist and VNUA staffs. Finally, Assoc. Prof. Nguyen Viet Long, on behalf of VNUA and FST staffs, acknowledged Prof. Josse De Baerdemaeker for sharing impressive research results and information. Hopefully, there would be more opportunities to continue sharing on new topics and updated research results, as well as maintain a sustainable cooperative relationship between VNUA and KU Leuven.

Discussion in the seminar

Participants attending the seminar

Visiting the Faculty of Food Science and Technology (VNUA)

Visiting the quinoa field experiment of the Faculty of Agronomy (VNUA)

Faculty of Food Science and Technology