Train-the-Trainer program in Dalat supports trainees in practical knowledge and training skills

Dutch and Vietnamese research institutions and companies joined forces to establish Fresh Academy, a practical knowledge and training center for the horticultural sector in Dalat in Vietnam.

Last week, 28 trainees from across Vietnam received training in Dalat, Vietnams’ horticulture region. The training focussed on practical knowledge and training skills in the area of indoor growing. This so-called Train-the-Trainer (TtT) program will have a timeline of 1.5 year.

The agriculture sector in Vietnam including the horticulture shows a strong development and offers opportunities for Dutch businesses. One of the shortcomings in the sector development is the limited practical and applied knowledge. The Fresh Academy project, with a duration of 2 years, will contribute to the knowledge provisioning by building a foundation for a horticulture training centre for training and demonstration.

The Train-the-Trainer program is an essential element of the project. The program educates trainers who then instruct and familiarize horticulture entrepreneurs, company employees and trainees about sustainable and technical advanced horticulture. The Fresh Academy project elaborates on horticultural projects and experiences of Fresh Studio in Vietnam gained in the past 10 years.

A unique consortium consisting of HAS University of Applied Sciences (project leader) and Wageningen UR/PPO, Lentiz Course& Consult, Demokwekerij Westland, Kenlog b.v. and Fresh Studio has joined forces to establish the Fresh Academy. In addition, 4 Vietnamese (agriculture) universities are involved in the development of the Fresh Academy.

Besides Dalat, the Fresh Academy will be operating in the North (production area of Hanoi) and the South (close of HCMC) of Vietnam. Currently, the project partners Demokwekerij Westland and Kenlog b.v. collaborate intensively with local horticulture sector specialised in flowering plants in the Mekong province Dong Thap.

Read the article in Dutch here

Source: TuinbouwCommunicatie

Fresh Studio organizes fresh produce value chain study tour in Vietnam

In early December 2015, Fresh Studio was contracted to organize “Vietnam Fresh Produce Value Chain” study tour. The delegation consisted of 17 participants from both public and private sectors in horticulture. 

The key objective of the study tour was to provide the delegates with insights into value chain development for fresh produce for the domestic market. When working with perishable products, it is vital to understand how and where in the chain the ‘value added’ can be created. Other issues such as training farmers, quality assurance and marketing of value added products should also be taken into consideration during the value chain development process.

Therefore, Fresh Studio organized a travel workshop along horticulture value chains that were started in 2008 in Dalat and have over the years expanded to the Mekong Delta, and until now developed into a sustainable business supplying fresh produce for urban consumers in Vietnam. During the seven-day study tour, the delegation traveled to three main horticulture production areas in the south of Vietnam. The group was accompanied by agronomists, QA specialists, marketing consultants and the company’s directors who supported the delegates to achieve the study goal.

  • The delegates visited HCMC peri-urban farmer areas and the modern and traditional wholesale and retailers in HCMC.
  • In Dalat, the delegates visited various vegetable/fruit/flower farming systems (from low tech, mid-tech to high tech farms) and the Fresh Studio R&D farm. In addition, the study tour participants also went to several traditional and modern vegetable packinghouses.
  • In the Mekong delta, the tour participants visited the modern fruit and vegetable processing facility of The Fruit Republic (TFR) Company in Can Tho and a successful fruit export sourcing system in Vinh Long province.

After the study tour, the knowledge of vegetable production and supply chain of the delegates has been improved greatly, especially on the knowledge of Vietnam vegetable production that can be applied in other SEA countries. Apart from learning activities, the delegates also enjoyed Vietnamese food and culture.

Three more milestones achieved in modern greenhouse vegetable production sector in Vietnam

3 significant accomplishments in the Transition Facility project “Accelerating the development of a modern greenhouse vegetable production sector in Vietnam”, including the first harvest of tomatoes and sweet peppers produced at the six pilot farms, the development of a market brand name and logo for each pilot farmer, and the start of training 720 farmers in modern greenhouse technology.

Also, positive reactions from all the guests visiting the Fresh Studio R&D Farm. They were all impressed with the tomato crop in the new greenhouse with automatic irrigation and climate control.

After planting the first crops in August, the Transition Facility project is in full swing and the first crops are looking promising to deliver good results.

Since 4 months, the 6 pilot farmers are now using their greenhouse and are very satisfied. Strong winds and heavy rain did not result in any problem. At the Fresh Studio R&D farm, irrigation and climate (including screening) control for the pilot greenhouse is currently managed fully automatic which is resulting in stable growing conditions. The first tomatoes (end of October) and sweet pepper fruits (November) were harvested with excellent quality. With over 2 kg per plant in the first tomato production, the yield target has also been achieved.

To strengthen the sales position of the products produced by the pilot farmer, a student from Van Hall Larenstein completed a research regarding packaging possibilities for tomato and sweet pepper in Vietnam. Advice was provided regarding the packaging options to the pilot farmers.

To distinguish the products in the market a brand name and logo was designed per pilot farmer by Fresh Studio’s Marketing & Business Development team.

Furthermore, next to the production manual for sweet pepper the first Vietnamese tomato production manual was completed. With over 200 slides, the current training manuals for sweet pepper and tomato includes a lot of useful information. Nevertheless, training manuals should be constantly updated and improved.

As part of the project, 8 field days have been organized so far. During these days, a total of 150 sweet pepper farmers and 156 tomato farmers have been trained in sweet pepper and tomato production with modern greenhouse technology. The farmers appreciated the training materials and the opportunity to visit the pilot greenhouses in order to see, experience and discuss the application of modern greenhouse technologies at their own farm.
Certainly there is much interest of farmers to learn more about and to use modern greenhouse technologies. Therefore, it is expected that these training activities will contribute to accelerated adoption of modern greenhouse vegetable production techniques by Vietnamese farmers.

This development is a result of the collaboration with project

Accelerating a modern greenhouse vegetable production sector

Modern greenhouse vegetable production can provide an innovative solution to meet the fast growing demand for high quality, safe and sustainable produced vegetables, which are year round available …