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Vietnamese Farmers Gain Farming Insights from Holland

A delegation from the Vietnam Farmers’ Union (VNFU) recently embarked on a study tour to the Netherlands, as part of the Tropical Fruit Quality Project. This visit, which took place from June 7th to 15th, 2024, aimed to equip Vietnamese farmers with the cutting-edge tools and techniques needed to navigate the challenges of climate change and propel their agricultural practices to the forefront of global efficiency and sustainability.

The delegation including representatives of VNFU and MCNV visits Eurofins Agro.

The delegation’s itinerary delved deep into the diverse aspects of the Dutch agricultural sector, including the integration of advanced technologies into agricultural processes, the intricacies of international agricultural logistics; alignment of fruit production practices with the requirements of international importers and experience sharing on climate-smart solutions.
The delegation was led by Ms. Bui Thi Thom, Vice President of the VNFU Executive Committee, comprising representatives from the Farmers’ Unions of project provinces (Dong Thap, Ben Tre, Long An, and Binh Thuan) alongside MCNV’s project coordinator.

The delegation’s journey began at the Hoeve Ackerdijk multi-purpose organic farm in Delft on June 7th. This model farm showcased the transformative potential of organic practices, demonstrating positive environmental impacts like improved water quality, increased biodiversity, and reduced carbon emissions. Additionally, the farm impressed with its efficient irrigation technology, advanced disease management strategies, and the combination with other services that foster farmers-citizen connection, such as a childcare facility, a nature conservation zone, and renewable energy generation.

This visit served as a testament to the high level of technological adoption by Dutch farmers and their commitment to meeting market demands while safeguarding the environment.

On June 10th, the delegation gained insight of the international agricultural logistics and market demand through a meeting with the Logistic Business Partners (LBP) Company in Rotterdam. The delegation learned about post-shipment vinegar ripening and packaging systems, quality control measures.
A fascinating fact was discovered since many agricultural products imported through LBP, such as sugarcane, chili peppers, turmeric, and aloe vera – the crops that Vietnam possesses vast potential to export. This underscored the importance of understanding import market demands and developing effective marketing strategies for Vietnamese farmers to tap into the global marketplace.

The delegation’s quest for knowledge continued at the Wageningen University & Research on June 11th to learn about plant protection solutions for fruits based on flexible greenhouses, sensor-based irrigation management technology, application of satellite data, soil scanning, climate data and weather forecasting.

On the same day, the delegation worked with RMA Company to learn about irrigation management technology based on soil moisture sensors, weather stations, and data application for effective irrigation advice. These technologies are well-suited for large cooperative models and for high-value crops.
On June 12, the delegation worked with Eurofins Agro in Wageningen. The center provides services to support farmers and growers in improving their farming systems and assists food and feed companies in sustainable production. In particular, Eurofins Agro has strengths in in-depth soil health research and deep insights to support more sustainable farming practices.
This is also a place where soil analysis techniques are continuously developed, including near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) technology or the detailed determination of parameters such as total organic carbon in soil, soil fertility, nutrient reserves, pollutants in soil and in crops, as a basis for guiding farmers in making decisions and minimizing risks.
In the time to come, the project will continue to collaborate with the VNFU to expand Eurofins’ soil testing services to more farmers in the project’s provinces, making it easier for farmers to access this valuable technology. This is the most fundamental scientific foundation for farmers to understand and step by step apply advanced knowledge to change agricultural cultivation methods.

On June 13, the delegation visited the Greentech exhibition, learning about and visiting booths introducing high-tech solutions in agriculture such as sensor systems, automatic fertilization, vertical racks, transportation management systems, automatic product sorting systems, drones for farm management, vertical garden systems, hydroponic systems, and farm monitoring systems. The delegation visited and learned about the booth introducing Fruit Logistica fair – a trade “bridge” attracting a large number of fruit importers and exporters from around the world held annually in Berlin, Germany in February.
Ms. Bui Thi Thom, VNFU Vice President, emphasized the importance of knowledge sharing and practical application: “Farmers who can witness the results of these high-tech models firsthand will be more receptive to adopting them in their own practices. The VNFU is hopeful that collaboration with the Netherlands can lead to the establishment of pilot projects in Vietnam, allowing farmers to gain firsthand experience and raise awareness of the transformative potential of agricultural technology.”

According to Vice President of VNFU, the Vietnamese government, recognizing the critical role of technology in ensuring farmer well-being and sustainable agricultural development, strongly encourages technology adoption in the sector. The VNFU, representing over 10 million members and farmers, plays a crucial role in promoting and facilitating the integration of science and technology into agricultural practices.
Ms.Bui Thi Thom also emphasized that to enhance the effectiveness of communication and assist farmers in adopting new technologies, particularly soil testing. As part of the Tropical Fruit Quality Project, VNFU, through collaborative efforts with government agencies, businesses, and enterprises, will organize promotional and training activities to further empower Vietnamese farmers.
The Tropical Fruit Quality Improvement Project is financially sponsored by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency, implemented in 04 provinces of Binh Thuan, Long An, Ben Tre and Dong Thap. The Medical Committee Netherlands – Vietnam (MCNV) plays an important role in coordinating and facilitating the flow of advanced technology and information from leading EU technical partners to Vietnam, that benefits Vietnamese farmers and fruit exporters./.