The recently founded Dutch Vietnam Smart Horticulture platform helps the horticultural industry in Vietnam to become more professional. Members of this platform pool their capacities and skills to provide answers to questions, expertise, and investments and in doing so they contribute to the further development of the Vietnamese horticultural and floricultural industry.
This includes the entire horticultural chain from seeds to consumer. It is not only about production, post-harvest, and sales but also about aspects like legally sound contracts, landscape designs, and training.
Initiators and members of the platform are Axia Vegetable Seeds, Onings Holland Flower bulbs, Wageningen Food and Biobased Research, Van der Valk Horti Systems, Kneppelhout & Korthals Lawyers, Kuiper Companions, the Dutch Vietnamese Chamber of Commerce, NL.IN.BUSINESS and Kenlog.
The idea to create the platform came from the Vietnamese embassy in the Netherlands, says Henk van Eijk, director of consultancy firm Kenlog and board member of the Dutch/ Vietnamese Chamber of Commerce. “The Netherlands has a great deal of knowledge and experience in regards to the entire horticultural chain, which is something Vietnam has also noticed. There, the economy grows by 8% every year and the focus on healthy and sustainable food products is increasing.”
As an example, Van Eijk takes a tomato cultivation project in a plastic tunnel that provides Vietnam with 18 kilograms of tomatoes per meter every year. “We can reach 80 kilograms with ease in that case, so there is still a lot to improve upon.”
Kenlog will act as a mediator within the platform. “We have been active in Vietnam for about seven years now. Among other things, we have founded a training center in Sa Déc, advised a producer of cashews, helped with the founding of a cutter for vegetables in Hanoi, helped with the implementation of quality management systems as well as assignments regarding the professionalization of lily cultivation and helped in the setting up of 500 hectares for a horticultural project. We have also guided Vietnamese ministers and ambassadors when they visited the Westland in the Netherlands. As a Dutch company and institution, you need to have a good relationship with the Vietnamese embassy and governments to get things done over there. It is great that the Vietnamese are direct and like to push ahead. You do need to make sure that there is transparency in everything you do”, says Van Eijk.
Improving the flower chain
The first project that The Netherlands Vietnam Horticulture Platform will focus on is the improvement of the flower chain and the vegetable chain in Vietnam. The cultivation mainly takes place in Dalat, with over 5.000 hectares of foil greenhouses it is also referred to as the Westland of Vietnam. The sale of the flowers, for the most part, takes place in the metropolises Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi. “We aim to improve the chains, from seeds to consumer”, says Van Eijk. “We are talking about starting materials, logistics, production, auctioning, packaging, professional training and so on. We are looking for local partners to start a commercial improvement project. Eventually, we aim for improvements on both sides including financial ones.”
Onings Holland Flower bulbs are a renowned bulbs and tubers exporter. The family-run company has been around for 65 years and has made quite the name for itself in the exporting of lily bulbs. As a member of the new platform, Onings wants to gain more from the present potential Vietnamese lily market. “In many areas, there is room for improvements. We would like to market and spread our knowledge in areas like production and techniques among others, over there”, says area manager Paul Onings.
"The lily cultivation is quite a young market in Vietnam but, in a relatively simple way, cultivation and trade is being held when compared to the Netherlands", states Onings. The cultivation includes 120 to 150 million lilies each year, of which Onings is in the top five of lily bulb suppliers. “It is not really our intention to grow even faster per se, but mainly to improve the quality of our lilies. We want to be the best. The country is central in its region and has a good climate for flower cultivation. Vietnam is a potential export country for flowers but there are still some limitations when it comes to export. Mainly the export permit procedures are still quite problematic now.”
On December 19, a signing ceremony took place on the Vietnamese embassy in Den Haag. From left to right: Mr. Fokke Kracht (Van der Valk Horti Systems), Mrs. Heike Axmann (Wageningen University & Research), Mr. Theo Tiegelaar (Kenlog), Mr. Fred Jansen (Kenlog), Mrs. Ngo Thi Hoa (ambassador), Mr. Jeroen Haver (NL.IN.BUSINESS), Mr. Paul Onings (Onings Holland Flower Bulbs) and Mr. Nguyen Hai Tinh (economics consultant)
The platform will gather again at the end of February to decide on a business plan and a corresponding strategy. The idea is to create a formalized platform with Dutch and Vietnamese entrepreneurs and institutions. They will become the architects and builders of the collaboration. This platform takes on the task of realizing horticultural chain or question-based projects. For each project, separate consortia will be made.
Source: Agroberichten Buitenland