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.

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.

Transition towards sustainable shallot value chains in the Mekong Delta

Maybe unknown to many but shallot is one of the key vegetable crops in the Mekong Delta, generating one of the highest income contributions per m2 and month. One of the most important production areas for shallot in Vietnam, is Vinh Chau district in Soc Trang province in the Mekong Delta.

Shallots are a crucial source of income for farmers and workers, who mostly belong to the Khmer ethnicity. Poverty incidence among the Khmer, are one of the highest in the Mekong Delta. For those Khmer who have been able to switch to shallot farming, this has been one of the few pathways to grow out of poverty. Just the shallot sector in Vinh Chau district created jobs for about 70,000 Khmer.

Collecting shallots after harvest from the field (picture: Fresh Studio®)

High use of ground water

Although shallot has been an important crop to reduce poverty among the Khmer, the current farming system is putting pressure on the environment, as currently large amounts of ground water is used to produce shallots in an inefficient way.

Based on data collection by Fresh Studio, the volume of ground water being used for one shallot crop cycle being cultivated on 1,000 m2 is estimated to be 220.5 m3. The volume of 220.5 m3/1,000 m2 per crop cycle, means 2,205 m3/ha per crop cycle. If we multiply this number times the 6,000 ha of shallot cultivation in Vinh Chau, this means that in the main shallot season an estimated 13,230,000 m3 of ground water is used for shallot production. This is equal to 189,000 m3 of ground water per day for 70 days, which is an enormous amount of water.

There are two key reasons for this high use of water:

  • Inefficient irrigation methods
  • At least one to two crop cycles to produce the shallot bulbs used as propagation material, before the main shallot crop is grown. These shallot bulbs cropping cycles for propagation material also require quite some water.

The extraction of ground water for shallot production leads to land subsidence in Vinh Chau district. Land subsidence makes the Mekong Delta more vulnerable to the rising sea levels and accelerates salinization.

Irrigation by hand of shallot crop in Soc Trang (picture: Fresh Studio®)

Current irrigation method

That farmers mainly use ground water, through their own drilled wells for irrigation water is confirmed by a study among 90 farm households in Vinh Chau district in Soc Trang Province, of which 85% use groundwater from drilled wells during the dry season. Unfortunately, this groundwater is then used in an inefficient way, mainly delivered in buckets, whereby only 20% of the irrigation water reaches the crop, according to the head of the Soc Trang department of irrigation (Vietnamnet, 2013). 

This current inefficient irrigation methods, are confirmed by a study by Can Tho university with sprinkler irrigation on shallots in Vinh Chau. This improved irrigation system resulted in a 43-59% reduction in water use and an income increase of 20% (Hong Minh Hoang et al, 2016).  The Asian Development Bank in a paper published in 2017 also identifies the implementation of high efficiently irrigation systems (HEIS), such as sprinklers and drip irrigation, as a key strategy to reduce the amount of water used per kg of crop produced. 

Bringing these technologies to smallholder farmers in the Mekong Delta would be an important innovation and one that would be supported by government policy, which has recommended that HEIS be adopted more widely.

Shallot bulbs

Currently farmers produce their own shallots bulbs as propagation material, to produce consumption shallots in the December- March period which they sell to traders.

To produce these shallot bulbs, they use a part of the harvest of the December – March, and then plant those shallots bulbs again in very high density to produce bulbs as propagation material to be used for next season. They produce the shallot bulbs as propagation material in the Feb-April period, after which they need to store the shallot bulbs till December of the new production season.

During this storage period from April till November about 30-40% of the shallot bulbs stored as propagation material for the next shallot production season, will be lost (mainly due to Fusarium). As a result of losses, many farmers produce yet another shallot bulb crop in November – December, using additional water without increasing productivity.

In addition to significant post-harvest losses and the high costs to produce the shallot bulbs as propagation material, the shallot bulb production also has the big disadvantage of propagating diseases, thereby reducing productivity in future harvests as well.

Tropical hybrid shallot variety

A new tropical hybrid shallot variety (Maserati) developed by the Dutch seed company Bejo Zaden B.V. enables shallot farmers to produce shallots from seeds.

Maserati is based on the genetic material of the Vinh Chau shallot and therefore has the same appearance and taste. These shallot seeds can be sowed directly in the field or first used to produce shallot seedlings, which are then transplanted in the field to produce shallots. Because these true shallot seeds are hybrid and will be guaranteed disease free, the farmer will get higher yields and a better pest and disease resistance.

In addition, they will not have to spend one or two seasons on producing and storing the shallots bulbs as propagation material. Even though the seed price might be higher, starting with hybrid shallot seedlings (produced from seeds), will have an enormous impact on increasing farm income and will halve their use of ground water for shallot farming.

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 to name a few will further increase the positive impact on farmer’s income, water use efficiency and reduce the agro-chemical footprint of shallot production on the environment.

Successful mini-bulb production from hybrid seed for early planting of next shallot production season. After mini-bulb production, shallot seedlings are produced in the nursery for the main shallot production season.

Impact cluster: combining technologies and knowledge

This is also an important reason why this impact cluster is formed, as just introducing hybrid shallot seeds to shallot farmers is not the optimal solution. The combination of the knowledge and technologies of the impact cluster partners enables the cluster to establish and introduce shallot farmers the system to start their shallot production from hybrid shallot seedlings.

The creation of nurseries specialized in producing hybrid shallot seedlings and mini bulbs provides an opportunity to generate additional income and jobs in the region. As part this project the following parties collaborate together:

  • Bejo zaden
  • Groot & Slot
  • Royal Brinkman
  • BvB Substrates
  • Eurofins
  • Can Tho University
  • Fresh Studio
Project meeting at Can Tho University

Project objective

The main objective of the impact cluster “Transition towards sustainable shallot value chains in the Mekong Delta” is to strengthen the shallot production sector in the Mekong Delta (Soc Trang province, > 6,000 hectares of shallot production), by introducing and making innovative Dutch production technologies and methods accessible for local shallot farmers, which will make shallot production more sustainable and profitable.

The impact cluster will further strengthen the adoption of these improved production technologies, by creating market linkages for the shallot farmers, so that a sustainable shallot value chain is developed.

Project activities

Through this impact cluster an important contribution will be made to address excessive and inefficient water use by shallot farmers in the Mekong Delta.

In the area of Vinh Chau district of Soc Trang Province, shallot farming is the second largest agricultural land use activity. This type of land use is contributing to one of the highest rates of subsidence in the Mekong Delta (Minderhoud et al, 2018), making the shallot sector a key contributor to reduced water security in the region. By increasing water use-efficiency, the extraction of ground water can be halved, which can help to reduce the rate of land subsidence. 

The main activities of the impact cluster to achieve the project objective are:

  • Demonstrating optimized irrigation strategy and water use efficiency
  • Demonstrating optimized shallot production technologies through hybrid shallot seedlings and integrated pest and disease management
  • Demonstrating optimized fertiliser application strategy
  • Field days to showcase improved hybrid shallot production technologies
  • Develop training programs in sustainable and improved hybrid shallot production for farmers
  • Capacity building shallot sector stakeholders
  • Creating market linkages of hybrid shallot producers with the domestic and export markets

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.

Value chain management and market linkages for fruits and aquaculture in Mekong Delta training

On 9 and 10 September 2022 Fresh Studio under the lead of our value chain development expert Mr. Siebe van Wijk organized the 2nd value chain management and market linkage training as part of the Nuffic OKP project: ‘Towards a climate resilient nursery sector and value chains in the Mekong Delta through capacity building in the educational and governmental sectors’.

During the training the trainee learned how to do a value chain analysis and which tools they can use to gather the insights of a current chain to be able to develop a value chain.

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 and field work, including on site interviews with actors active within a water spinach and mustard chain.  The training activities accumulated in 2 groups presenting their ideas and approaches required to develop a water spinach and mustard value chain by the end of the training.

The OKP project is a Dutch-Vietnamese knowledge partnership project to promote the development of a climate-resilient nursery sector & value chains in An Giang, Dong Thap, Can Tho, Soc Trang, Tien Giang and Vinh Long, funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of The Netherlands and managed by NUFFIC.

This project introduces scalable water technology pilots for the aquaculture and horticulture sectors to develop climate-smart value chains. The project international partners including Aeres University, Has University, Fresh Studio Innovations Asia and Nong Lam University work with local governments and educational institutions to enhance capacity so that adaptations to cope with transformation in the Mekong Delta can be accelerated at the local level.

Irrigation efficiency and water use-efficiency in crops production

2021 April 16-17th Ho Chi Minh City

Twenty professors and researchers from universities, DARDs, TVET and research institutes will participate in a two-day training entitled “Irrigation efficiency and water use-efficiency in crops production”. This is one of several pieces of training offered by the Orange Knowledge Programme (OKP) Project “Towards a climate resilient nursery sector and value chains in the Mekong Delta through capacity building in the educational and government sectors”.

OKP project is A Dutch-Vietnamese knowledge partnership project to promote the development of a climate resilient nursery sector & value chains in An Giang, Dong Thap, Can Tho, Soc Trang, Tien Giang and Vinh Long, funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of The Netherlands and managed by NUFFIC. This project introduces scalable water technology pilots for the aquaculture and horticulture sectors to develop climate-smart value chains. The project international partners including AERES University, HAS University, Fresh Studio Innovations Asia and Nong Lam University work with local governments and educational institutions to enhance capacity so that adaptations to cope with transformation in the MD can be accelerated at the local level.

The main outcomes of the projects are :

  • Improved capacity of trainers and teachers, upgraded curricula and training materials applying interactive multi-disciplinary approaches in higher education (HE) and technical vocational education and training (TVET).
  • Establishment of an indoor nursery R&D facility for Pangasius to pre-nurse robust juveniles which deliver higher yields, and thereby added value to local farmers.
  • Enhanced knowledge & capacity on integrated adaptation strategies, climate smart agriculture (CSA) and efficient water management themes of support organizations within aquaculture & horticulture value chains

“The Netherland- Vietnam Strategic Partnership Agreements (SPAs) focus on technology and knowledge transfer in climate change, water management, sustainable agriculture and food security; the focus themes of this project. The Mekong Delta Agricultural Transformation Plan (MD-ATP) and VN Government Resolution 120 endorse agricultural transition toward vertically integrated value chains and a shift to modern agro-business specialization. The OKP NUFFIC project contributes directly to realize this vision through the transfer of essential technology, knowledge, and skills, “ said Mr. Willem Schoustra, Agriculture Counsellor, Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Vietnam

The supply of fruits and vegetables in the MD still cannot meet the increasing demand domestically and abroad. According to the World Bank (2016), the fruit demand in Vietnam will increase from 5 million tons by 2009 to 7 million tons by 2030. Vietnamese exports of fruit show ongoing growth. The capacity to produce diversified fruit types is an advantage of Vietnamese fruit when penetrating the world market.

In addition, the participation of Vietnam in trade agreements (CPTPP and EVFTA) brings great market potential for processed fruits due to big and rapid tax reduction commitments by member countries, especially compared to fresh and raw products. Freshwater supply, suboptimal groundwater tables and reducing agricultural lands due to salinity intrusion and rising sea levels has strong impacts on fruits & vegetables production in the MD. This requires efficient and climate smart water management strategies.

One of the most effective means to conserve water appears to be through carefully managed deficit irrigation strategies that are supported by advanced irrigation systems. Implementation of crop location strategies, conversion to crops with higher economic value or productivity per unit of water consumed, and adoption of drought‐ and/or salt-tolerant crops are discussed in academic research, however these strategies are still very limited in practice. This project will focus on filling this gap. Technical trainings on water quality management and irrigation efficiency for agricultural value chains will be developed and contextualized to close the gap between theory and practices.

Toward a climate resilient nursery sector and value chain in the Mekong Delta through the capacity Building in educational and government sector

We are uplifted with the success of the two-day kick off workshop for the Orange Knowledge Program project “Toward a climate resilient nursery sector and value chain in the Mekong Delta through the capacity Building in educational and government sector” campaign by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Fresh Studio, Aeres University, Has University and Nong Lam University are collaborated to promote the development of a climate resilient nursery sector & value chains in the Mekong Delta.

Fifty (50) professors, lecturers, extentionists and researchers from colleges, TVETs, DARDS, research institutes from Dong Thap, An Giang, Can Tho, HCM, Long An, Tien Giang, Soc Trang participate in this workshop and will continue a collective learning journey until 2022 and beyond!

Training for Pangasius and Tilapia farmers in Vinh Long and Dong Thap provinces

Aquaculture is a vital component of the social and economic tissue for many provinces in the Mekong Delta. In the riverine provinces of Vinh Long and Dong Thap, where nearly half of the national Pangasius production takes place, sustainable expansion of aquaculture is constrained by several factors. Among those, the lack of appropriate extension approaches, limited technological know-how, and variable input quality are very often stressed by local farmers.

Through the PAP “Powering Aquaculture Progress” project launched in 2013, De Heus together with its implementing partners Fresh Studio, Can Tho University and Wageningen University have envisioned the development a state-of-the-art R&D facility serving as a nexus in the Mekong Delta where innovations could be developed, tested and adapted to local conditions in collaboration with local farmers.

After 4 years of development, 2017 marked a new milestone with the first training sessions held at the facility.

Sessions featured stakeholders from a variety of backgrounds, including more than 100 Pangasius and Tilapia farmers, members of the De Heus’ Research and Sales team, local and international industry experts, and academics from Can Tho University.

Because project partners knew that farmers often find training programs irrelevant to the practicalities of their work, Fresh Studio conducted a field survey of farm practices among nearly 50 farms throughout the rainy season to identify knowledge gaps and understand the difficulties experienced during production.

The results from this survey helped select relevant topics and support trainers prepare adapted materials and methodologies.

Using the research conducted in preparation for the program, sessions led by Dr. Mahmoud Haidar and Mr. Nguyen Van Khanh from the De Heus technical team shed light upon the power of data application, and its potential value added on farm efficiency.

Fresh Studio team interviewing a Tilapia grow out farmer during the survey

Disease management, the topic most often requested by the farmers, was led by the renowned Dr. Tu Thanh Dung from Can Tho University. Dr. Dung emphasized the need for more thorough diagnostic procedures to treat the root causes of a disease. She also discouraged use of chemicals and pharmaceuticals as a primary treatment, describing the importance of preventive measures.

Before the workshop sessions, attendees were given to a tour of De Heus’ state-of- the-art R&D facility. This allowed the R&D team to demonstrate the systems and explain how their research could be applied in practice. Fresh studio was responsible for preparing the sessions and facilitating the workshops and Q&A sessions.

Demonstrating technologies applied during the tour of the R&D facility

Farmers were actively involved in the training by raising many questions during presentations and hour-long exchange sessions. The open speaking platform and small number of attendees at each session (15-25 individuals) gave farmers the opportunity to discuss a wide range of topics. These included vaccination, antibiotic resistance, seed selection, water quality management, and even emerging diseases.

For our partner De Heus, the opening of the R&D farm and the development of its own internal training program are key steps toward proposing services that should help address a wider range of issues facing producers in the region. Through these efforts, De Heus is beginning to establish itself as a major player in the aquafeed market and contributor to the sustainable development of fish farming in Vietnam.

Miss Tu Thanh Dung talking about disease prevention
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