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.

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

Sowing a bright future for economic development and women’s empowerment

There are great opportunities to increase vegetable production in Son La and through these vegetable value chains empower local ethnic women and increase their technical as well as their management skills.

Successful vegetable production starts with access to good quality seeds, seedlings and access to knowledge and technologies for more advanced vegetable production. Without ensuring that these points are well implemented and present locally it will be difficult to bring vegetable production chains to a higher level.

This project will enable access to good quality seeds, seedlings and knowledge and technologies for more advanced vegetable production to hundreds of local farmers and farmers groups, specifically targeting ethic women.

Project objectives

  • Establishment of a seedling production sector creating increased capacity, additional income and jobs for ethic women in Moc Chau and Van Ho, with further upscaling in other areas.
  • More professional vegetable production resulting in better quality vegetables, produced year-round, in compliance with Viet GAP and against a better cost price generating higher incomes for over 500 famer households in Moc Chau and Van Ho and other areas in Son La province.
  • Establishment of 13 successful agri-businesses led and managed by women.
  • Creation of new and stable jobs within the agriculture sector suitable for local women.
  • Increased capacity of over 350 local women in technical and management skills through extension services, field days and training sessions
  • Accelerate the development of an inclusive, sustainable and modern horticulture production sector in Son La province
  • Increased cooperation between the public and private sector to develop the horticulture sector in Son La providing women more choice to beneficially engage in agriculture.

Project donor

Project partners

  • Applied Horticultural Research
  • BvB Substrates
  • Royal Brinkman
  • Semillas Fito
  • Semences Gautier
  • Fresh Studio

Aquaculture Innovation Challenge: making impact in aquaculture

Seafood Trade Intelligence Portal, Fresh Studio and Solidaridad kicked off the Aquaculture Innovation Challenge on Tuesday, 6 December 2016, with an inspiring event to bridge the gap between innovators and impact investors in the aquaculture sector.


By 2050, aquaculture production will need to grow by another 70 million tones to meet the world’s seafood demand. The consumption and dependency on seafood for well-being has never been this high. Aquaculture presents a significant opportunity to enhance food security. Vietnam, the fourth largest aquaculture producer in the world, has demonstrated its potential, but the emergence of the aquaculture sector raises major concerns in the country. The role of entrepreneurs will be the key to creating necessary innovations for a sustainable aquaculture sector.

However, to realize ambitions and innovations for the sector, access to finance and capital is critically important. Finding bright minds and enabling them to realize their ambition by connecting them to finance and capital is the main target of the Aquaculture Innovation Challenge.


The challenge is open for online and offline applications from 6 December 2016 until 11 March 2017. Finalists will be invited to an intensive business plan boot camp and pitching event. The best business plans will be awarded a cash investment for initiating the business plan. Winners will be announced in June.

For this challenge, innovations and solutions are sought in three different categories:

  • Design
  • Demonstration
  • Hỗ trợ tăng trưởng

Willem Schoustra, project manager for Blue Growth at the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs said, “Aquaculture has an enormous potential as a source of animal protein. There is one condition: we must reach this potential in a sustainable way! The Dutch government is continuously exploring how to contribute best to the development of a sustainable aquaculture sector around the world. The Aquaculture Innovation Challenge is an opportunity to bring together innovation and finance to achieve this goal.”

Support from industry leaders

The Aquaculture Innovation Challenge is supported by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. Key partners include Inve Aquaculture and De Heus Vietnam. The competition jury consists of experts with a background in science, business, finance and civil society including partners such as Rabobank, Alterfin, Aqua-Spark, Seafood Connection, Pan Group, Asian Development Bank, eFishery, Wageningen University, ICCO Investments, Australian aid and Solidaridad.

Expected outcome

We aim to find the brightest minds and enabling them to realize their ambition by connecting them to finance and capital and by doing this improving the aquaculture sector in Vietnam.

Read more about the Aquaculture Innovation Challenge on the AIC website: English Vietnamese

Vitalising the Vietnamese potato sector

To reinforce potato production and boost potato consumption in Vietnam 3 companies and 1 institution with the aid of the Dutch government, joined forces to vitalise the Vietnamese potato sector as part of the project “Growing out of poverty with potato”.

Download the latest project results below:


Vietnam is one of the most rapidly developing economies in Southeast Asia, which culminated into the status of middle-income country in 2009. The associated urbanisation and transformation of agricultural land into industry and housing has put pressure on food provision. Despite the fact that there is currently no food shortage in Vietnam, food security is high on the national agenda and the country is essentially depending on rice- 94% of total arable land is rice production.

There is ample potential for the development of a professional potato sector in Vietnam. The tuber offers abundant opportunities to improve food security. Besides, it provides an addition income for farmers due to cultivation period in the rice off-season in North-Vietnam and high yield potential.

Although potato consumption is still low, recent trade statistics clearly demonstrate that the Vietnamese potato sector is not able to produce sufficient potatoes to meet this growing domestic demand. From an import level of fresh potatoes of just US$ 1.1 million in 2003, fresh potato imports expand to US$ 44.6 million in 2011 (UN COMTRADE statistics, 2012). The real figure will probably be double as high, as the large majority of imported potatoes are imported through the Chinese-Vietnamese border, and accurate data of this volume is not available.

Despite the fact that domestic potato demand is higher than local supply, to date potato has remained a low interest crop to both producers and consumers. The development of a professional potato sector is currently trapped in a vicious circle of low-interest – low quality produce: Most farmers are unaware of the economic potential of potato farming. They lack the knowledge on advanced cultivation techniques and good planting materials. Therewith the productivity is low and the disease pressure is high. As a consequence the market, both professional processing industry and end-consumers are met with an inconsistent volume and quality supply. Low yields for farmers and low quality to end-users keep potato in the low interest category.

But even despite being of limited interest, a small increase in per capita potato consumption results in steep rise in demand on a national level with a population approaching 90 million.


“Growing out of Poverty with potato” is a project of Fresh Studio, PepsiCo Food Vietnam, Agrico and Applied Plant Research-WUR and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands within the Facility for Sustainable Entrepreneurship and Food Security (FDOV).

To actually realise potato as an important crop for food security, pro-poor development and dietary improvements a holistic approach will be essential in which both the table and processing potato sector will be vitalised simultaneously. The processing potato sourcing is an important economic driver for sector development in terms of economy of scale, continuity and purchase certainty of the production. On the other hand the processing potato sector will benefit from a thriving table potato sector. A larger potato sector will in general result in higher quality production and more interest of farmers to start potato cultivation. Better quality production will result in better consumer appreciation and higher potato consumption levels.

Expected outcome

The desired result for this project is to make Vietnam more self-sufficient in potato production: to create a sustainable potato sector that is able to compete with Chinese imports and is able to supply the domestic table potato market and potato processing industry with a consistent volume and quality offer. The project aims to realise this by:

  • Meeting increasing demand with domestic production by realising larger volumes of better quality and prolonged shelf-life/storability for both processing and table potatoes. Therewith potato consumption contributes effectively to the national food security program of the Vietnam government; a sector of importance to be able to provide a staple alternative to rice.
  • Improved livelihoods through better economic inclusion of the poorest farmer communities through improved and stable income levels resulting from potato cultivation with better quality and higher yields.
  • Improved nutrition of (poor farmer) households; increased table potato consumption to decrease micronutrient deficiency in particular iron in order to diminish anaemia.
  • Increased potato consumption beyond chips and French fries, through increased awareness of the versatility and nutrition of table potato. To introduce table potato as a nutritious alternative to rice.
  • Adoption of new high quality Dutch cultivars in the Vietnam diet: table potatoes that are both different in external appearance and preparation qualities, ones that are more trusted and preferred than imported potatoes.
  • Environmental sustainability: reduce environment pressure and enlarge productivity in terms of both caloric as well as nutritional value per m2.

Newsletters developed by: Schuttelaar & Partners

Accelerating a modern greenhouse vegetable production sector

Vietnam has high potential to develop into a more professional and higher value agricultural and horticultural economy. The growing population and pace and scope of retail development results in a demand for higher quality products, food safety, stable supply and more up-scaled and sustainable production. To address these challenges 11 companies and institutions joined forces to develop 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.

The region around Da Lat City, Lam Dong Province with its unique climate has seen quite some development of greenhouse production in recent years, but the horticulture vegetable production sector is still characterized by a landscape of small producers with no knowledge of modern greenhouse vegetable production or the means to invest in modern greenhouse technologies.

A consortium consisting of Wageningen UR (PPO), Rabo Development (Rabobank), Fresh Studio, BVB Substrates, Da Lat University, HAS Hogeschool Den Bosch, Koppert Biological Systems, RijkZwaan, Ludvig Svensson, YARA, Priva have joined forces with the aim to accelerate the development of a professional greenhouse horticulture sector by:

  • Introducing and showcasing of modern greenhouse production technologies in order to obtain higher yield, better quality and more sustainable produce.
  • Establishing a platform to facilitate practical training for students and persons working within the horticulture sector
  • Providing the means in knowledge and financial support for farmers to invest in modern greenhouse technologies
  • Establishing a financial product to support investments in modern greenhouse production by local farmers


To accelerate the development of a modern greenhouse vegetable sector, the project develops a solution for bottlenecks below:

  • Relatively low yield levels;
  • Current unsustainable production methods;
  • Low percentage of class I products;
  • Lack of access by farmers to:
    • Means to finance the investment in professional greenhouse production;
    • No product differentiation in the market.
    • Lack of facilities to train students and extension staff in practice


    To overcome these bottlenecks the implementation of the following interventions are included:

    • Develop training and extension materials for professional greenhouse farmers and extension staff of input or service providers
    • Establish professional greenhouse pilot farms and develop the optimal greenhouse production model for the following crops: tomato, sweet pepper and hydroponic lettuce, covering a total production area of 6,000 m2 in Lam Dong province
    • The pilot greenhouse will be used as practical training and demonstration centres
    • In order to market tomato, sweet pepper and lettuce, a market research will be performed to determine the consumption patterns towards these products.
    • Create a brand to market the produced vegetables produced within the project
    • In cooperation with banks and investors, develop a horticulture greenhouse financial lease product, which will pre-finance investments of farmers in greenhouses
    • Establish a technical support system for introduced hardware
    • Create business opportunities for Dutch companies active in the horticulture sector

    Development of professional fresh fish chain

    Since late 2010, the Fresh Studio aquaculture and fisheries team is working very hard for one of Fresh Studio’s clients to assist them in developing the first professional fresh fish chain of Vietnam.

    While for exports the Vietnamese aquaculture sector just focuses on deep frozen export chains for pangasius and shrimp, this chain project focuses on the over 50 fish species which are popular in the domestic market.

    The domestic chain is only fresh fish, which requires strict product quality control. During large fish farmer information sessions, widely covered by the Vietnamese tv and newspapers, the targets for the new fish sourcing system were presented. Hereafter an overwhelming number of farmers registered to join the program. Since then over 250 fish farmers have been trained in the required product specifications and good aquaculture production standard. Soon the first supply of fresh fish through a newly developed professional fresh fish processing facility will start.

    Developing the vegetable seed market for high-quality seeds

    Since 2006, Fresh Studio has been contracted by a Dutch vegetable seed company – one of the world leaders in breeding and distributing innovative high quality vegetable seeds.

    After an extensive seed market study in various countries in Asia, our client contracted us to undertake continuous vegetable variety screening trials at numerous locations in Vietnam, including at our own R&D farm.

    In addition to these trials, we assisted our client in developing the market for their vegetable varieties in Vietnam through farmer field days, and other small chain projects where we link farmers who grow the high quality vegetable varieties our client sells to vegetable processors, vegetable exporters and supermarket chains.