Promoting Sustainable Shallot Farming in the Mekong Delta

The Mekong Delta River is renowned for its shallot production in Vietnam. However, traditional farming methods have posed significant challenges to the environment and farmers’ livelihoods. The impact cluster: “Transition towards sustainable shallot value chains in the Mekong Delta” is aiming to build the sustainable shallot value chain in this area.

Farmers are open to more sustainable farming practices

As mentioned in the news report of VTV4, initially met with skepticism, innovative and sustainable shallot farming practices are gradually accepted by farmers. By encouraging farmers to try the drip irrigation, integrated pest management (IPM) and the new shallot variety named Maserati F1, farmers are convinced with the immidiate results: reduced water consumption, lower input costs, and improved crop yields.

Mr. Sang’s success story is not an isolated incident. Many farmers, hesitant at first, are now witnessing the positive outcomes of the new shallot variety and modern farming techniques. The project’s emphasis on farmer-to-farmer knowledge sharing has proven to be a powerful tool in overcoming initial resistance and fostering a sense of community among the farmers.

A Collaborative Effort for a Sustainable Future

By transforming shallot farming practices, the project is contributing to a brighter future for farmers, the environment, and consumers. The collaboration between Fresh Studio, Can Tho University, Dutch agricultural experts, and local cooperatives exemplifies the power of collective action in driving positive change. By combining scientific knowledge, technological innovation, and community engagement, it demonstrates a holistic approach to addressing the complex challenges facing the agricultural sector.


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

Launching Of Post Harvest Center For Vietnamese Fruit Sector And SOP Training For Mango Varieties To Extend Storage Time At SOFRI

To strengthen the value chain of mango production in the Mekong Delta, the ceremony for the inauguration of the Post Harvest Center for Vietnamese Fruit Sector and the training of Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for mango varieties was held at the Southern Horticulture Research Institute (SOFRI). This event the establishment of the Post Harvest Center and SOP’s are part of 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).

Launching Of Post Harvest Center For Vietnamese Fruit Sector

The Mekong Delta region of Vietnam is renowned for its fertile lands and favorable climate, ideal for the cultivation of a variety of fruits, with mangoes being one of the most prominent. However, despite the abundance of produce, challenges in post-harvest management and storage have often led to significant losses in quality and quantity, thereby impacting the livelihoods of farmers and the overall value chain.

Recognizing the need to address these challenges, Fresh Studio, in partnership with GIZ through the Green Innovation Center initiative, embarked on a project to strengthen the mango value chain in the region. The establishment of the Post Harvest Center for Vietnamese Fruit stands as a testament to their commitment to fostering innovation and sustainable practices within the agricultural sector.

At the heart of the ceremony was the training of Standard Operating Procedures tailored specifically for key mango varieties In Mekong delta such as Cat Hoa Loc mango, Cat Chu mango, Tuong Da Xanh mango and Keo mango, aimed at extending their storage life. This comprehensive training program equipped participants with the knowledge and skills, including the post-harvest issues such as sap burn on mango, anthracnose control and stem rot prevention and how to implement best practices in post-harvest handling, storage, and transportation.

Over 100 participants consisting of scientists, agricultural officers from the Plant Protection Department, companies active within the fruit sector , cooperatives and farmers, joined the event. The event featured insightful discussions, practical demonstrations, and hands-on training sessions, ensuring that participants gained practical insights that could be directly applied in their operations.

The collaboration between Fresh Studio,, GIZ, and SOFRI underscores the importance of public-private partnerships in driving sustainable development initiatives. By leveraging expertise, resources, and networks, these organizations have paved the way for transformative change within the agricultural landscape of the Mekong Delta.

The Post Harvest Center for Vietnamese Fruit serves as a hub for knowledge exchange, research, and innovation, empowering farmers and stakeholders with the tools and technologies needed to optimize post-harvest practices. Through initiatives like these, the potential for value addition, market access, and income generation within the agricultural sector is greatly enhanced, ultimately contributing to the socio-economic development of rural communities.

As the ceremony concluded, there was a palpable sense of optimism and determination amongst participants. Armed with newfound knowledge and skills, they departed with a renewed sense of purpose, ready to implement sustainable practices and drive positive change within their communities.


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.

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. 

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