On the afternoon of February 28, 2023, Vietnam National University of Agriculture (VNUA) held a speaking engagement between two Under Secretaries of the US Department of Agriculture and VNUA's leaders, scientists and students. 


Speaking at the speaking engagement, Prof. Dr. Nguyen Thi Lan, Secretary of the Party Committee, VNUA’s President, affirmed that smart agriculture, innovation and entrepreneurship in agriculture are the fields that are being concerned by the Vietnamese Government, ministries and branches. Thereby, in order to develop an efficient, sustainable and emission-reducing agriculture, these are also the focus of the development strategy of the university in the coming time.


Prof. Dr. Nguyen Thi Lan, VNUA’s President, delivers a speech at the speaking engagement

"VNUA is a key national higher education institution and one of the first six universities to pilot Vietnam's university autonomy. Currently, VNUA has nearly 1,300 staff, with 90% of lecturers and researchers trained in foreign countries, including US universities.

VNUA has more than 50 laboratories and has established 48 strong research groups. The university's human resources are sufficient to meet the needs of research and solve problems in agriculture and climate change.

VNUA has trained more than 100,000 students at undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels, thereby, providing great human resources to the agricultural sector and many other sectors in Vietnam as well as other countries such as Laos, Cambodia, Mozambique, Angolar, Korea, China, Japan, Israel, and Denmak", Prof. Dr. Nguyen Thi Lan said.


Delegates and a large number of VNUA’s students participate in the discussion

Regarding innovation startup activities, Prof. Dr. Nguyen Thi Lan stated that since 2014, VNUA had had the initiative to organize an innovative agricultural startup competition. The contest attracted hundreds of projects from universities, colleges, high schools and localities. In which, over 50% of the projects were developed by VNUA’s students. Many ideas and projects had been developed into businesses after the competition and had particular positions in the society and the startup community.


Ms. Taylor, Under Secretary of the US Department of Agriculture, speaks at the speaking engagement

Ms. Taylor, the Under Secretary of the US Department of Agriculture, shared that, “Vietnam is one of my first international trips as an Under Secretary and I chose it as a stopover because of the important agricultural relationship between the two countries. We are the important trading partner of each other. In 2022, the trade turnover of agricultural products between the two countries reached nearly 10 billion USD. Nonetheless, we also share the same goal of developing a sustainable, transparent and responsible agricultural industry…

I encourage students and lecturers being here today to embrace and be open to innovation. There is no one right solution to any problem facing agriculture. We all need to work together to explore all the different options to support farmers, consumers and our planet.”


VNUA’s lecturers raise questions to the guests

At the speaking engagement, Ms. Jenny Moffitt, the Under Secretary of the US Department of Agriculture, affirmed that “agriculture is a profession/field that will bring benefits to you and your country, as well as to the world”. Ms. Jenny Moffitt also emphasized that, “Protecting agriculture is a global effort. We need to identify potential or emerging threats to take smart, sustainable countermeasures for our green planet”.


VNUA’s students express their concerns to the two Under Secretaries of the US Department of Agriculture


In addition to student startup programs, in recent years, VNUA has researched and piloted the establishment of technology start-up businesses (spin off) for scientists to start their own businesses based on VNUA’s scientific research products.

Entrepreneurship and innovation activities have gradually contributed to improving the quality of scientific research, training and social service mission of the university. Over the years, the employment rate of VNUA's students has always been high, over 97% of the students have jobs after 12 months of graduation.