Tropical hybrid shallot variety Maserati gaining traction in Vietnam

The successful introduction and adoption of the hybrid tropical shallot variety Maserati by Vietnamese shallot farmers in the Mekong delta is a crucial component of the impact cluster: “Transition towards sustainable shallot value chains in the Mekong Delta”. 

The first successful harvest of Maserati in Vietnam

To demonstrate the added value of Maserati over 15 demonstration fields with local farmers were established to collect data to quantify yield and other agronomical performance indicators of Maserati and to showcase the results to local shallot farmers.

The first harvests of the new shallot production season started this month (January 2024) in Tra Vinh and Soc Trang province.  An ideal moment to check and compare the performance of the tropical hybrid shallot variety Maserati in the field by teams of Bejo, De Groot & Slot and Fresh Studio and to organize the first fields days of the season to showcase Maserati to local shallot farmers.

Figure 1. First harvest of Maserati of the new shallot season in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam.
Figure 2. Excellent colour and bulb size of Maserati.
Figure 3. Inspection of field with Maserati by Bejo, Groot & Slot and Fresh Studio.

First demonstration fields being harvested showed higher yield results and larger average bulb size of Maserati compared with the local shallot variety. Especially mini bulbs produced from Maserati seeds earlier in the year, showed very good results. On pungency and taste Maserati scored at least similar or better compared to the local shallot variety.

Most important is however that shallot farmers are enthusiastic about Maserati. During the field days organized at 2 different locations this was clearly the case and farmers showed their interest in planting more Maserati for the coming season. Through direct cooperation with local shallot farmers, cooperatives and traders the project partners will further upscale the production of Maserati seedlings and mini bulbs for the next shallot season.

Figure 5. Mr. Dung from Bejo Vietnam presenting Maserati to shallot farmers.

Exciting possibilities await in 2024

Directly after the Vietnamese New Year (TET) celebrations the project will continue with further training activities and field days in the shallot production areas. Besides highlighting Maserati other topics, such adaptation of innovative and sustainable production practices, such as sprinkler or drip irrigation, irrigation decision support tools, fertilizer application advise, and integrated pest and diseases management will be addressed.

Figure 6. Happy impact cluster shallot partners at Maserati demonstration field.

After TET marketing activities to support the sales of Maserati in the market will also start. As local shallot traders in Vietnam have the tendency to try to control the market or are conservative, they are often not very eager to try to develop a new variety. Through marketing activities more market demand and linkage with the end market will be created to stimulate local shallot traders to prefer buying Maserati over local shallot varieties.


The impact cluster: “Transition towards sustainable shallot value chains in the Mekong Delta” is funded by The Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) and consists of the following project partners:

  • Bejo Zaden
  • Groot & Slot
  • Royal Brinkman
  • BvB Substrates
  • Eurofins
  • Can Tho University
  • Fresh Studio

Study Tour Mango Sector in Thailand

From 14 – 18 January 2024, Fresh Studio organized a study tour to the mango sector in Thailand for Vietnamese partners in the project: “Strengthening the mango value chain in the Mekong Delta” under the program Green Innovation Centers (GIC) for the agriculture and food sector (Vietnam country package). A delegation of 18 representatives from cooperatives, companies, and agriculture officers partnering in the project joined the study tour.

Study tour mango sector Thailand

The valuable experience exchange of Vietnam and Thailand in mango cultivation

The study tour to Thailand is one of the project activities to enhance collaboration, share knowledge, and enhance the capabilities of the project partners regarding the production and post-harvest management of mango fruits and gaining a better understanding and ideas how to further develop mango value chains in the Mekong delta of Vietnam.

The heart of the study tour revolved around visits to mango farms in Thailand. Participants had the chance to witness firsthand the innovative techniques employed by Thai farmers to grow mangoes successfully. These farms served as living classrooms, enabling the delegation to learn about various aspects of mango cultivation, such as pruning, soil management, pest control, and the application of fertilizers. Engaging with local farmers allowed the participants to gain practical insights and ask questions directly related to the challenges they face in their mango cultivation endeavors.

The exchange of knowledge was a two-way street during the study tour. The representatives of the project partners joining the study tour had the opportunity to share their own experiences and expertise in mango production in Vietnam. This mutual exchange enriched both parties, fostering a collaborative environment where best practices from different regions could be combined for the benefit of all. The interaction with Thai farmers was not limited to the fields; it extended to discussions on market trends, post-harvest handling, and the overall mango value chain.

One-of-a-kind study tour for mango innovators

One of the highlights of the study tour was the visit to the Fruit Research Institute at Kasetsart University in Thailand. Participants were given an exclusive insight into the latest advancements in mango breeding programs. The institute showcased ongoing research and development initiatives aimed at enhancing mango varieties, improving disease resistance, and increasing overall crop productivity. This segment of the tour provided a valuable platform for the participants to explore potential collaborations in research and development within the mango sector.

Study tour mango sector Thailand - Fruit Research Institute at Kasetsart University in Thailand

The study tour included a visit to Rachen Farm, a leading mango producer in Thailand. Participants had the opportunity to learn about pre and post-harvest practices that contribute to the production of high-quality mangoes. This aspect of the tour covered topics such as optimal harvesting techniques, de-sapping, hot water treatment, transportation methods, storage conditions, and packaging practices. The firsthand exposure to these advanced practices equipped the participants with valuable insights that can be implemented in their own mango cultivation processes back home.


The Green Innovation Centre Viet Nam is a country package of the Green Innovation Centres in the Agriculture and Food Sector (GIC) Program. This global program is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) within the framework of the special initiative ‘One world – No Hunger’. The GIC Viet Nam Project is jointly implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and GIZ.

Fresh Studio In Cooperation With SOFRI Provides Sop Training On Mango De-Sapping And Hot Water Treatment

Mangoes are a beloved tropical fruit enjoyed worldwide for their succulent sweetness and vibrant flavors. However, ensuring the quality and shelf life of mangoes post-harvest can be a significant challenge.

SOP Training On Mango De-Sapping And Hot Water Treatment

Training on standard operating procedures

In an effort to address this issue and reduce post-harvest losses, on November 6, 2023 Fresh Studio Innovations Asia and the Southern Fruit Research Institute (SOFRI) within the Strengthening the Mango value Chain in the Mekong Delta, a component of the Green Innovation Center for the Agriculture and Food Sector have come together to conduct training on Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for mango de-sapping and hot water treatment for 50 project members who come from cooperatives, companies and representatives of DARD in Mekong Delta.

This collaborative initiative aims to empower mango cooperatives and companies to implement effective post-harvest handling techniques, ultimately increasing the shelf life of mangoes and reducing waste.

De-sapping, the process of removing latex and other exudates from the fruit’s surface, and hot water treatment, which helps control the sap burn and common post harvest disease such as anthracnose and stem rot diseases, are two critical steps in maintaining the fruit’s condition and ensuring it reaches consumers in optimal form.

De-sapping and Hot Water Treatment

The training sessions offer a wealth of knowledge and practical techniques to improve mango post-harvest handling, benefiting mango cooperatives and businesses in the process. Implementing these SOPs can extend the shelf life of mangoes, allowing them to be stored for longer periods and reducing post-harvest losses, which is especially important for cooperatives and business seeking to reach wider markets.

The participants are highly appreciated the knowledge transfer and useful SOP to be applicable into their production. Empowering mango cooperatives and companies with these techniques is an investment in the future of the mango industry, ensuring that consumers can enjoy high-quality mangoes while contributing to the economic growth of the regions where these fruits are cultivated.


The Green Innovation Centre Viet Nam is a country package of the Green Innovation Centres in the Agriculture and Food Sector (GIC) Program. This global program is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) within the framework of the special initiative ‘One world – No Hunger’. The GIC Viet Nam Project is jointly implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and GIZ.

Mango Sales and Marketing Training Course – Mango Business School

On Thursday and Friday 19 and 20 October 2023, the Mango Sales and Marketing training course was organized as part of the Mango Business School training program in Long Xuyen city, An Giang province.

The training was organized in cooperation with Dr. Tai Pham (research lecturer from FPT School of Business and Technology). With 50 participants from various organizations from the public and private sectors, the training was well attended.

Mango Business School is an initiative of the project “Strengthening the Mango Value Chain in The Mekong Delta” a project implemented under the Green Innovation Centre Viet Nam country package to enable stakeholders throughout the mango value chain to successfully implement identified innovations to enhance their business in terms of sustainability, climate change resilience and profitability.

The purpose of Mango Business School is to increase the knowledge capacity of key staffs of cooperatives, companies, Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, and other actors in the mango value chain.

During the Mango sales and marketing 6 main topics were covered:

  1. Introduction about Marketing Communication
  2. Digital/Online Marketing for Small-Scaled Enterprises
  3. Neuromarketing
  4. Introduction about Social Media
  5. Podcast
  6. Real Experience Sharing from 1 successful farmer applying digital marketing to promote traditional cultural farming cultivation of IFC (Innovation Farming Co.op).

Although most participants were aware about sales and marketing, they had limited to no experience on applying sales and marketing strategies as part of their mango business. The trainees were, therefore, eager to learn more about sales and marketing strategies and how to apply these in their business.

Through the training setup, covering fundamental principles as well as real life examples the trainees could associate with the trainees could enhance their knowledge and understanding on applying sales and marketing strategies.

Mr. Tung, Director of Tan Thuan Tay Cooperative from Dong Thap province was happy to share that “Thanks to the Project, thanks Dr. Tai Pham, lecturer & facilitator from Australia to provide to all participants, especially the cooperatives the practical and helpful training & education opportunity, acknowledge the latest information and trends on modern marketing, easy to apply into real and direct operation of cooperatives. I think that the training and lesson organized is the starting point for a revolution of Mango marketing in the Mekong Delta Region.


The Green Innovation Centre Viet Nam is a country package of the Green Innovation Centres in the Agriculture and Food Sector (GIC) Program. This global program is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) within the framework of the special initiative ‘One world – No Hunger’. The GIC Viet Nam Project is jointly implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and GIZ.

GAP CU LAO GIENG COOPERATIVE PRODUCES THE FIRST BATCH OF DRIED MANGO BY SOLAR DRY DOME.

The Mekong Delta region in Vietnam has long been celebrated for its lush landscapes, fertile soils, and the bountiful fruit orchards that flourish in its tropical climate. Among the many fruits that thrive here, mangoes have stood out as a prized agricultural commodity. However, the journey from mango orchard to market-ready product often presents significant challenges, including issues related to fruit preservation, post-harvest losses, and quality control. This is where the Solar Dry Dome, supported by the GIZ organization through the Strengthening Mango Value Chain project, apart of Green Innovation Center for Agriculture and Food Sector in Vietnam (GIC) has emerged as a transformative solution.

Gap Cu Long Gieng Cooperative - solar dry dome

In recent news, the Gap Cu Lao Gieng cooperative in the Mekong Delta has successfully put the Solar Dry Dome into operation, marking a significant milestone in the region’s agricultural landscape. With the guidance of the Solar Dry Dome and the technology transfer facilitated by the Southern Fruit Research Institute (SOFRI) and Fresh Studio Innovation Asia Co. Ltd, the cooperative has produced its first batch of dried mangoes, setting a promising precedent for the future of mango farming in the region.

The Solar Dry Dome: A Beacon of Sustainable Innovation

The Solar Dry Dome is an innovative drying system designed to preserve the flavor, color, and nutritional value of mangoes while significantly extending their shelf life. It utilizes solar energy to gently remove moisture from the mangoes, transforming them into delicious and market-ready dried fruits. This eco-friendly approach not only reduces the carbon footprint associated with mango drying but also provides an affordable and sustainable solution to an age-old problem.

GIZ, in collaboration with local partners, recognized the potential of this technology to revolutionize the mango value chain in the Mekong Delta. Their support has not only made it possible for mango farmers to adopt this novel approach but also ensures a more sustainable and resilient mango industry in the region.

Technology Transfer by SOFRI: A Catalyst for Change

The Southern Fruit Research Institute (SOFRI), renowned for its expertise in tropical fruit research and post-harvest technologies, played a pivotal role in making the Solar Dry Dome project a reality. SOFRI’s technology transfer initiatives have equipped local farmers and cooperatives with the knowledge and skills necessary to implement this cutting-edge drying technology effectively.

SOFRI’s involvement is essential for the success of the project, as it ensures that mango farmers in the Mekong Delta can take full advantage of the Solar Dry Dome’s capabilities. Their expertise in mango cultivation, harvest, and post-harvest practices guarantees that the dried mango produced using this technology is of the highest quality, meeting international standards and satisfying consumer demands.

Unlocking the Full Potential of Mango Farming

The introduction of the Solar Dry Dome and the expertise offered by SOFRI, Fresh Studio Innovations Asia Co. Ltd have unlocked new possibilities for mango farmers in the Mekong Delta. With the ability to dry mangoes efficiently and preserve their quality, farmers can now access previously untapped markets, both domestically and internationally. Dried mangoes are not only a popular snack but also a versatile ingredient in various food products, including cereals, snacks, and baked goods.

Furthermore, this innovative approach has the potential to reduce post-harvest losses, which have traditionally plagued the mango industry. By decreasing spoilage and increasing the value of their produce, farmers can improve their economic well-being and create a more sustainable livelihood.

A Bright Future for Mango Farming in the Mekong Delta

The successful operation of the Solar Dry Dome in the Mekong Delta is a testament to the power of innovation, collaboration, and sustainable agricultural practices. With GIZ’s support and the technical guidance from SOFRI, Fresh Studio Innovations Asia, the mango industry in this region is poised for significant growth and transformation.

As more cooperatives and individual farmers adopt the Solar Dry Dome technology, we can expect an increase in the production of high-quality dried mango products, contributing to the prosperity of the Mekong Delta’s agricultural sector. The Solar Dry Dome is not just a technological marvel; it’s a symbol of hope for mango farmers in this region, offering them a brighter, more sustainable future.


The Green Innovation Centre Viet Nam is a country package of the Green Innovation Centres in the Agriculture and Food Sector (GIC) Program. This global program is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) within the framework of the special initiative ‘One world – No Hunger’. The GIC Viet Nam Project is jointly implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and GIZ.

Training Course On Mango Quality Assurance In The Field And The Packing House

On August 24th and 25th, 2023, the Green Innovation Centre (GIC) Viet Nam project, in collaboration with Fresh Studio Innovations Asia Co., Ltd., and Bureau Veritas Vietnam, organized a two-day training course in Cao Lanh City, Dong Thap Province, on mango quality assurance in both the field and the packing house.

The training was attended by 40 participants, including leaders of cooperatives and companies and officials from the Plant Production and Crop Protection Departments, Agriculture Extension Centers, and Agriculture Service Centers, from six provinces of An Giang, Can Tho, Dong Thap, Hau Giang, Kien Giang, and Soc Trang.

Consumer concerns about the quality, safety, and hygiene of agricultural products have made food quality a top priority in the food supply system. To maintain quality, a consistent quality assurance process is required, from the production stage in the field to the packing house, through a system of traceability and farmer management. This is especially relevant for fruits, such as mango, when cooperatives and companies want to enter the international market and gain more value in the domestic market.

The purpose of the training was to enhance the participants’ ability to manage the mango supply and operate the packing house to maintain high-quality mango for both domestic and international markets. The course covered standards from basic (food safety, VietGAP) to advanced (Global G.A.P, organic) for quality assurance in the fields and HACCP for quality assurance in the packing house.

The training was intensive, combining presentations, group discussions, and field trips to mango orchards and packhouses. After the trips, the participants presented their observations and suggestions to improve current practices for better compliance with the standards.

Minh, leader of Long Binh Agricultural Cooperative, shared, “The course brings valuable knowledge and broadens my horizon. Through group discussions and field trips, I can build more connections, learn from others’ experiences, and have a deeper understanding of VietGAP.

The training is one of the activities of the Strengthening the Mango Value Chain in the Mekong Delta, a component under the GIC Viet Nam project that aims to enable stakeholders throughout the value chain to successfully implement identified innovations to enhance their business in terms of sustainability, climate change resilience, and profitability.

As part of this component, specific trainings were organized for key staff of cooperatives, companies, the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, and other actors in the mango value chain on key subjects, including production, harvesting, packing, post-harvest management, quality assurance, sales, marketing, and management.

The GIC Viet Nam project is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

Improve profits by properly sourcing mangoes and managing the packhouse

Seasonal production is one of the main problems causing unstable price throughout the year. Besides, the lack of management at the packhouse will lead to high post-harvest loss and reduce the ability to trace back once there is any quality problem.

Reckoning all these issues, the Mango Business School had organized a successful one-day training called “Mango sourcing & packhouse management” at Sao Mai Hotel, Dong Thap to strengthen the knowledge of cooperative’s and company’s leaders as well as local extensionists on 28th June 2023. The training is a capacity building activity operated under the Green Innovation Centers for Agriculture and Food Sector (GIC Vietnam) project.

The training was provided by both Fresh Studio’s sourcing expert in cooperation with a lecturer from Nong Lam University. The lecture covered comprehensively from managing raw materials at production stage to packing stage through 6 topics: building sourcing area and farmer system, planning and prediction the production volume, standard operation for a packhouse and how to manage and finally, quality control at the packhouse.

40 participants had registered for this course, whom came from a diverse background such as cooperative, company and local extensionist. Besides presentation, the workshop creates lots room for discussion through minigames and exercises. Most of trainees feedback the course is useful for their current works.

GIC project for Mango development was presented by Fresh Studio at Mango Festival 2023

The Mango Festival 2023, held in Cao Lanh, Dong Thap from April 28th to May 1st, was a grand success, attracting over 150,000 visitors from both inside and outside the province.

Mango Festival 2023 in Dong Thap

The event was a bustling hub of activity, with various businesses showcasing their involvement with mangoes, ranging from planting and pest control to packaging and innovative uses. To further entice visitors, competitions such as drawing, storytelling, fruit styling, and culinary contests were held, adding to the festival’s energy and vibrancy. 

Among the participants was Fresh Studio, which presented a portion of the Green Innovation Center Vietnam for Agriculture and Food Sector (GIC) project in collaboration with the GAP Cu Lao Gieng cooperative. The booth showcased the mangoes of the cooperative, highlighting the effects of the hot water treatment and de-sapping technology, and the solar-dried mangoes. Visitors were treated to the flavorsome solar-dried mangoes and the fresh mangoes, which were a testament to the quality of the produce.

Fresh Studio also had the opportunity to present the GIC project to the audience during a conference on April 30th, where even the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development was in attendance. The conference mainly focused on the latest mango farming techniques and post-harvest mango preservation. The event was interactive, with attendees actively participating in the conference. Fresh Studio’s participation in the Mango Festival was also covered in Doanh Nghiep Tiep Thi and the Evening News of Dong Thap television, amplifying the project’s reach. 

The Mango Festival served as a platform for the GIC project and the GAP Cu Lao Gieng cooperative to receive recognition from visitors and businesses. The event was a significant success, and Fresh Studio would like to express its sincere gratitude to the Vice Chairman of Dong Thap Province People’s Committee for organizing the Mango Festival and everyone involved in making the event possible. 

Fresh Studio at the Fifth Exhibition of HortEx Vietnam 2023

From March 1st to March 3rd, 2023, the fifth international exhibition and conference for Horticultural and Floricultural and Processing Technology, HortEx Vietnam 2023, was held successfully.

Fresh Studio at the HortEx Vietnam 2023

This year, Fresh Studio was pleased to participate in the exposition in collaboration with partners Elysee, Fitto, Agrico, Limgroup, Agriance, Gautier, BVB Substrates, BASF, Nunhems, Koppert, and Royal Brinkman. Thanks to the trust of our partners, Fresh Studio was honored to present them and introduce their applications to visitors at the same booth.

At the booth, we welcomed visitors and potential clients, introducing and advising them on our services and how they could fit into their business, such as seeds, greenhouse film, irrigation systems, and substrates. Visitors had the opportunity to try our vegetables and take samples of the supplies, helping us gain more trust and reliability from clients. Everyone was impressed by the grandiose display of the booth and how helpful we were.

In addition, on the first day, our Managing Partner, Rene van Rensen, held two seminars at the exhibition. These seminars aimed to help visitors and potential clients understand more about Fresh Studio’s impacts and services in the horticultural sector. The seminars also showed how we could help them build a sustainable business in the future. In the past, we created value chains for different products, introduced high-quality substrates, modern greenhouse film, and more to help farmers and cooperatives.

The second seminar was about cooperation between Vietnam and the Netherlands toward a sustainable horticultural sector. The conference was held by the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Netherlands in Vietnam, the Agricultural Counselor, the Deputy Director General, the Crop Production Department, and other businesses such as Open Asia/Larive, Koppert, Ridder, and Fresh Studio. Rene van Rensen introduced the impact of the application of biological control agents to keep pests and diseases under the economic threshold. Depending on the crops, we could apply selected natural enemies and biological control products to maximize prevention naturally, instead of using chemical pest control.

Fresh Studio would like to thank our sponsors, partners, and visitors. Without them, this successful event could not have happened. Thank you for visiting and reaching out to us. We hope to see you again in the future.

Potential Application of Mango Processing Technology in the Mekong Delta-River Workshop at Tien Giang

As part of the Green Innovation Centers for Agriculture and Food Sector (GIC) project, an informative workshop was held on February 24, 2023 in Tien Giang. The workshop focused on ‘The potential applications to process the mangos in the Mekong Delta’. The objective of the workshop was to bring together companies, farmers, and cooperatives to share, listen, and learn from each other’s experiences. The experts from Covestro, Sofri, and Phap Viet Food led the workshop.

First, Covestro introduced the Greenhouse Solar Dryer. Ms. Phuong Mai Pham, the Inclusive Business Development Manager, explained that this dryer has the potential to be applied in the Mekong Delta due to the region’s high rate of solar radiation in comparison to Central and North Vietnam. She highlighted the benefits of using this method instead of electricity-run equipment, which included cost savings, and increased visual and nutritional qualities.

Next, Dr. Phong from Sofri explained the method of applying Solar Drying House technology for vegetables and fresh and processed food. He also shared information about the typical characteristics of vegetables and how to effectively optimize the quality of the product. Finally, Mr. Thanh Khe Dao from Phap Viet Food demonstrated the applied technology and equipment for processing mango products, including dried, pureed, and beverages made from mango flesh and skin.

In the afternoon, the cooperatives presented their projects, followed by a Q&A session. Participants actively asked questions about the presented projects and topics. At the end of the day, participants were excited to see the model of the Greenhouse Solar Dryer, which made the applied solution more powerful and believable for their future projects.

The workshop was a success, thanks to the participant companies who helped the cooperatives and farmers during the workshop. Participants have time until the next workshop to discuss whether to invest in the applications or not. Upcoming workshops have been planned: reporting the results and transferring the technology in March, and training on how to do business, e-commerce, and connect to the market for processed mango products in June.

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