A Vietnamese-Canadian agriculture engineer named Nguyen Thanh Phong has used advanced technology to cultivate high yield fresh vegetables in Phu Thinh Commune in Tam Binh District in the Mekong Delta province of Vinh Long.
La Van Khoa, Phong’s father-in-law, introduced the farming method to grow vegetables by applying advanced technology.
|La Van Khoa tests quality of the cucumbers in his greenhouse (Photo: SGGP)|
After 10 years of nurturing the thought, by 2011, Phong and his father-in-law planted cucumbers in a greenhouse in 1.5 acres of land with air conditioners, an automatic water mister and a fertilizer system worth more than VND1 billion (US$47,930).
All procedures were controlled and monitored by a group of agriculture engineers in Australia who instructed Khoa at every step. After five weeks, Khoa began harvesting 160-180 kilograms of cucumbers per day, at an average 12 tons per acre.
However, when Tran Phuong Thanh, Phong’s mother-in-law, went to sell the cucumbers in a nearby market, people refused to buy the cucumbers at even VND7,000 per kilogram, when other cucumbers were selling at VND4,000 per kilogram. Customers suspected the cucumbers to come from China.
Thanh then resorted to selling the cucumbers at Hoa Phu Industrial Zone, where she talked about how the vegetable was being cultivated and even tasted them in front of workers.
After successful sales at the Industrial Zone, she returned to markets in the province to sell them at VND10,000 a kilogram.
In 2012, the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development granted the Certificate of Safe Food for growing vegetables using advanced technology to Nguyen Thanh Phong and La Van Khoa.
Big C Supermarket in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho has signed a contract to buy all cucumbers grown under this method, at VND13,000 a kilogram. With this encouragement, farm land for vegetables has widened for the fourth crop.
Mai Thanh Phung, from the National Agriculture Extension Center, said this model of growing vegetables need more promotion as it has many advantages like use of less farm land, fewer laborers, high productivity, good quality, and higher profit margin.