Launching of ‘My Mango Farm Diary’ contest and ‘Anthracnose control’ workshop

My Mango Farm Diary contest

Farm diary has been receiving attention not only from buyers but also responsible consumers. It is the first priority to be issued production unit code (PUC), so that the products produced on the farm can be exported.

On 8th February, Fresh Studio kicked off the “My Mango Farm Diary” contest to encourage farmer to document their production process in 10 partnered cooperatives. The contest aimed to create a habit for farmers to write what agro-chemical products they used, which can increase transparency, reliability and confidence for the end-users.

The contest received a warm welcome from cooperative leaders. They reckoned that writing farm production diary is the most challenging task; however, the GIC mango project motivates the growers through this contest and interesting rewards. At present, 242 farmers have signed up the contest. Tinh Thoi Cooperative (Dong Thap), Binh Hang Trung Cooperative (Dong Thap) and Cat Hoa Loc Hon Dat Cooperative (Kien Giang) are the top 3 having the highest number of participants.

Workshop – Anthracnose control

Besides the contest, how to use the agro-chemical products correctly and comply to the requirements of the market, Fresh Studio also collaborated with BASF – a German agro-chemical producer – to give a short talk on the control of anthracnose in the rainy season. BASF representatives also selected some farmers to make demonstration of their anthracnose control protocol so the farmers can see the efficacy by their own eyes.

Mango farming training related to the climate-smart agriculture in Dong Thap and An Giang

From 8 to 11 November 2022 as part of the Mango Business School activities under the Green Innovation Centers for the agriculture and food sector (GIC) project: ‘Strengthening the Mango value chain in the Mekong River Delta’, project partners were trained in mango farming strategies related to efficient fertilizer application, pruning strategy, anthracnose control and irrigation strategy. The training was provided by experts from Can Tho University, Eurofins, Loc Troi and Fresh Studio.

All trainees were actively involved in the various training sessions

During the training, trainees learned how to prune branches to create canopy properly, the demand and calculation of soil nutrients, the reasons for soil and leaf tests, calculation the amount of water required for mango trees, determine the appropriate time to irrigate through smart devices, and identify, treat anthracnose. The highly participatory approach of the training resulted that all trainees were actively involved in the various training sessions.

The knowledge and methods trained during the classroom sessions were applied by the trainees during their assignments. They experienced what they learned on the day of practice in the demo farm. It was very exciting for them to practice measuring soil moisture through modern equipment such as tension meter, electric sensor and compared with manual method. They also practiced taking soil and leaf samples and performing pruning and anthracnose identification. Compared with the theoretical study in class, the practical day helps them understand the knowledge deeper and have the plan to apply these advanced techniques to their orchards in the near future.

About the project

GIC Vietnam is jointly implemented by Ministry of agriculture and rural development (MARD) and GIZ and funded by German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. The project aims to promote sustainable Mango Value Chain in six provinces of the Mekong River Delta (MRD): Dong Thap, An Giang, Kien Giang, Can Tho, Hau Giang and Soc Trang by fostering innovations on mango value chains.

This project aims to increase the productivity and income of small-scale farming households, create new jobs and improve resilience of the mango value chains through implementation of climate-intelligent innovations.

Strengthening the Mango value chain in the Mekong Delta

The “Strengthening the Mango value chain in the Mekong Delta” project aims to enable stakeholders throughout the value chain to successfully implement identified innovations to enhance their business in terms of sustainability, climate chain resilience and profitability.

Agricultural production in the Mekong Delta in Vietnam is of great national and global importance for current and future food security as well as rural income. It is threatened by the consequences of climate change and the unsustainable use of water and agrochemicals. The smallholders of the Mekong Delta region are not yet able to access existing and developing innovations to ensure their business and income are secure. There even more difficulties in ensuring their production methods are environmentally sustainable. Limited access to innovation limits sustainable rural development and improved food quality and security.

An overview of the component “Strengthening the Mango Value Chain In The Mekong Delta”

The Vietnam country package is a part of their global project “Green Innovation Centre (GIC) in the Agricultural and Food Sector” of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) special initiative “ONE WORLD without Hunger”. It is carried out in six central provinces of the Mekong Delta: An Giang, Dong Thap, Can Tho, Tien Giang, Hau Giang and Soc Trang. The main project objective is to provide rice and mango smallholders with access to sustainable innovations to increase income, employment and food quality. The “Strengthening the Mango value chain in the Mekong Delta” project is implemented under the Vietnam country package.

Vietnam produces about 800,000 tons of fresh mango annually, of which about 500,000 tons are produced in the Mekong Delta, this accounts for 45% of the national share of mango orchards. This puts Vietnam in fourteenth place globally in terms of volume of mango production. The majority of mango produced is consumed on the domestic market. 170,000 tons of mango are exported, of which, 94% is unbranded and traded
across the Chinese border. The remaining share is exported to medium-high value markets in the Middle East, Russia, Asia-Pacific, and North America.

Mango Business School is an initiative of the component “Strengthening the Mango Value Chain In The Mekong Delta”. 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.

A more efficient, environmentally friendly and internationally competitive agricultural sector is required to improve exportation of mango products from Vietnam. Global and domestic demand for mango and other tropical fruits has increased due to a change in consumer diets and an increase in disposable income. Consumers are willing to pay premium prices for high quality fruits. This allows for the potential for uptake of innovation to improve the mango value chain and boost exports of fresh and value-added

Value Chain Development Training – An Overview Of Market Development Approaches

After a successful first training session in August 2021, the Mango Business School continued to welcome the participants of Cooperatives, Companies, and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to analyze the mango market as well as discuss ways to utilize marketing tactics in exploring new markets and approaching new clients.

The training focused on 4 main activities, including (1) an overview of domestic and international mango markets; (2) an introduction to the importance and how to set up the marketing strategy; (3) a discussion panel with the participant of Hoang Phat and Central Group representatives on Marketing tactics and quality control; (4) Group assignment on analyzing different mango value chains.

The panel discussion was the spotlight of the morning section thanks to the honest sharing from both representatives of companies on current challenges related to B2B communication and the quality of mangoes.

The first 2 courses on Value Chain Development training were the foundations of upcoming sessions of Mango Business School aiming 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.

Mango Business School officially start the first training on Value Chain Development

Mango Business School is an initiative of “Strengthening The Mango Value Chain In The Mekong Delta” – a component of the GIC Viet Nam 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.

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 on key subjects including production, harvesting, packing, post-harvest management, quality assurance, sales, marketing, and management.

On 26 July 2022, the first training of Mango Business School was organized in Cao Lanh city, Dong Thap province with the participant of 43 trainees coming from Cooperatives, Companies and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The participants of the 1st training of Mango Business School

The full-day training provided trainees with informative approaches to value chain development in the Vietnam context. This introduction course provided a solid basis to start or further develop the mango value chains by discussing the 4 main topics: 

  1. What is value chain?
  2. Introduction to value chain thinking
  3. Mapping of the value chain
  4. Value chain analysis

The Value Chain is a business-oriented approach that aims to capture the best value at all stages of production, processing, and trading from farmers to consumers. The value chain approach can provide a holistic view of the production process, from raw materials to final consumption. This allows learners to identify areas for improvements in product and information flows via strategic alliances and networks, as well as relationship management. With this approach, producers can improve their market access while buyers access more reliable and improved raw materials.

Trainees are required to map the basic value chain based on their assigned role in the mango production process

The value chain approach can help government officials identify bottlenecks in the production process and which policies are needed to address these bottlenecks. The purpose of the training is to spark the understanding of the value chain approach and its importance as well as explain the principles and scope of the value chain and examine the priority areas for value chain development.

Group discussion on the value chain analysis

The training will carry out the 2nd part of Value Chain Development in September 2022 which will focus on getting to know Rapid Diagnostic Appraisal (RDA); how to apply these tools to specific cases; and ways of translating the value chain analysis into value chain development.

GAP Sein Ta Lone Mango Value Chain Study in Myanmar

Fresh Studio is commissioned to analyze several reduced-input value chains in several GMS countries including Myanmar.

In the last week of November 2017, Fresh Studio Vietnam and Myanmar conducted a value chain analysis of GAP certified mango in Mandalay and Sagaing region in Myanmar. Besides analysing the mango chain in Myanmar, two other chains are being analysed as part of this assignment: coconut in Vietnam and vegetables in Thailand.

The research is part of a program, which enhances market access for sustainable environmentally friendly and safe agricultural produce using reduced chemicals. A key objective of the program is to identify opportunities and approaches to improve the competitiveness of high value fruit chains.

Only recently Myanmar started to develop GAP standards, mango is one of the first 14 products to receive a GAP standard/guideline/protocol. Myanmar produces a unique mango variety called Sein Ta Lone (‘one diamond’) and has a special flavour well adapted in the Mandalay region, Myanmar. Within the analysis a closer look was given to GAP certified mango growers and particular GAP certified Sein Ta Lone growers.

With a multi-disciplinary team consisting out of 9 members the intensive field work week focused on GAP mango supply chain actors including input suppliers, farmers (GAP and non-GAP), collectors, wholesalers, processors, exporters and policy makers. The teams collected the information through various RDA-techniques: focus group discussions, production calendar, gross margin analysis, in-depth interviews, time-lines etc. Within the teams there was a different focus on stakeholders.

The largest share of mango production is traded as fresh fruit both for export and domestic market; the remainder is mostly processed into dried and frozen mango, puree and leather. The largest portion of mango goes to China through border trade and 1st grade mangoes go to Singapore. For Sein Ta Lone (GAP) it is still challenging to get premium price. The major challenges include weak institutional linkages together with low capacities between and within the different stakeholders along the value chain and the mango-demand outside Myanmar is not requesting a Myanmar GAP-standard.