Vietnam and the Netherlands: together towards sustainable agriculture in the Mekong Delta

‘The Mekong Delta Session, joining forces for business development in the Mekong Delta’ took place in Ho Chi Minh city on Tuesday, 29 November 2022. This interactive session created a platform for stakeholders to discuss challenges and opportunities in the Mekong Delta of Vietnam, thus exchange innovative activities in the fields of aquaculture and horticulture from Dutch and Vietnamese businesses for the sustainable development in the region. The session was organized on the occasion of the visit to Vietnam of the Netherlands Minister for Foreign Trade and International Cooperation Ms. Liesje Schreinemacher.

Mekong Delta Session 1
Beeld: ©EKN

The Netherlands Consul General Stork welcomed all the participants and highlighted the importance of private sector as a leading force in the sustainable development of the Mekong Delta. Prof. Dr. Duong Van Ni of Can Tho University gave an insightful overview of the Vietnam’s Mekong Delta, its challenges and opportunities. VCCI Can Tho Director Nguyen Phuong Lam shared his remarks on the business environment in the Mekong Delta and the supports of VCCI to businesses.

Aquaculture Session

The interactive session on aquaculture welcomed the sharing and discussion of ShrimpTech Vietnam consortium, followed by the Aquafeed, Research and Development by De Heus Vietnam and Recirculating Aquaculture System solution by Witteveen+Bos Consulting Engineers.

Mekong Delta session
Beeld: ©EKN

The consortium ShrimpTechVietnam  aims to sustainably improve the current shrimp farming practices in the Mekong Delta by conducting research, offering alternatives for antibiotics and wastewater treatment, demonstrating best practices and sustainable solutions, and the training of local farmers. The goal is to enable Vietnamese shrimp farmers to increase their production in a sustainable manner. Larive International, Skretting and Rynan Technologies are three of the significant stakeholders of the consortium. During this session, representatives from ShrimpTech Vietnam provided an insightful overview of the Mekong Delta by showing the digital flight, and information on the ShrimpTech Vietnam and the Dutch investment in the Vietnamese shrimp sector, and the future of Dutch-Vietnamese cooperation in shrimp farming. De Heus, as one of the largest investors in the Mekong Delta also shared The Dutch investment in the aquaculture invested significantly in the R&D to provide high-quality, innovative and efficient feed solutions, with responsible use of antibiotics. De Heus also works closely together with different stakeholders to enhance the sustainability of the whole supply chain by more efficient use of natural resources, responsible sourcing of raw materials and establishing cooperatives to stimulate local production of raw materials.

Horticulture sector in the Mekong Delta

The second part of the session devoted on the Dutch initiatives and investment in the horticulture sector in the Mekong Delta. It started with the presentation of representative from The Fruit Republic sharing their experiences on sustainable sourcing for export, followed by the sharing on the circular processing in coconut case from Green Coco Food. The smallholders play important role in Vietnamese agriculture sector and it is not easy for them to partake in the sustainable global value chain. That is why the Impact Cluster on Tropical Fruits, a public private partnership, has been established to keep smallholders included in the global value chain. A representative from the Netherlands Water Partnership elaborated on this initiative, which will contract 500 farmers through a scheme to make the citrus chain more efficient and sustainable by reducing the negative impacts of agrochemicals on the environment as well as the use of ground and surface water. Last but not least, the Investment Manager of the Dutch Fund for Climate and Development (DFCD) and the Country Director SNV presented DFCD Investment deals on horticulture and aquaculture. DFCD provides finance and technical assistance to projects with a focus on climate change adaptation, to mobilize external private external private sector funding at scale.

Mekong Delta Session 3
Beeld: ©EKN

In her closing remarks, Minister Schreinemacher shared her impression on the economic growth of Vietnam and compliments for Vietnam’s important commitment to becoming carbon neutral by 2050. The growth and openness of Vietnam’s economy and society as well as the country’s strategic location offer many opportunities. Vietnam features high on the Netherlands’ foreign trade and development policy agenda and the Dutch government continues supporting Dutch businesses and sustainable development in Vietnam, especially in the Mekong Delta, for the benefits of its people and environment.

The event also offered an opportunity for participants to network and exchange knowledge, innovations and explore business opportunities in the Mekong Delta.


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