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This Vietnamese man pursues organic farming in Central Highlands

This Vietnamese man pursues organic farming in Central Highlands

Saturday, April 15, 2023, 09:54 GMT+7
This Vietnamese man pursues organic farming in Central Highlands
Modern organic farming applied at Mang Den Xanh Farm. Photo: L.V. / Tuoi Tre

30-year-old Vo Lam Vu has spent the past 11 years farming organic produce in Mang Den – a mountain town in the Central Highlands province of Kon Tum.

After graduating high school in 2012, Vu applied for a project named “Vegetables and Flowers” that awarded him a 1,000-square-meter plot of land in Mang Den which he has since transformed into a successful organic farming operation.

From family trip to family farm

“My family took a trip to Mang Den when I was in high school and we really liked the area.

"Later, when I heard about the Vegetables and Flowers project, I knew it would be a good choice for my family. We immediately applied and were eventually selected,” Vu shared.

Though Vu was a student at Can Tho University, he wasted no time withdrawing from his classes and made the move with his family to Mang Den.

Unfortunately, once confronted with their 1,000-square-meter plot, Vu’s family chose to abandon the project, leaving Vu to begin his organic farming journey on his own.

With no prior farming experience, Vu had to learn how to work the land from scratch. Eventually, however, with aid from local agricultural groups and associations, he was able to plant his crop of carrots, tomatoes, and cabbage.

Tomatoes are tested at Mang Den Xanh Farm. Photo: L.V. / Tuoi Tre
Tomatoes are tested at Mang Den Xanh Farm. Photo: L.V. / Tuoi Tre

“The more work I do, the more I enjoy it. I always feel eager to learn. When I read about a great organic farming model, I do my best to meet the farmers and broaden my experience. I’ve created a habit visiting organic farms to gain more knowledge,” Vu said.

Still, no matter how much he learns, Vu sticks to the mantra: “whatever plants you grow must be truly clean and fine like the land.”

Having outgrown his humble beginning tilling a 1,000-square-meter plot, Vu’s farm now spans over four hectares and supplies buyers from across the region.

Vu (R) has spent 11 years growing organic produce in Mang Den, Kon Tum Province, Central Highlands. Photo: L.V. / Tuoi Tre
Vu (R) has spent 11 years growing organic produce in Mang Den, Kon Tum Province, Central Highlands. Photo: L.V. / Tuoi Tre

Growing a business

Vu’s reputation as a skilled organic farmer made him extremely popular in the Mang Den area.

“In the 2015-16 period, hundreds of people visited my farm. It became so overwhelming that I decided to take a break,” Vu shared.

Vu eventually returned to farming, this time with a keen focus on growing quality produce. His ability to focus on the basics has allowed him to supply food factories and grocery chains across the country with anywhere from 10 to 12 tons of tomatoes, carrots, cabbage, gourds, herbs, and nearly 50 other types of vegetables each month.

“I don’t practice monoculture. The produce is rotated to fit the seasons. Crop yields are not much, but the products are diverse and are able to be harvested on a daily basis in order to supply the partners,” Vu said.

Vu has also expanded into the restaurant business, opening his 100-150 seat Sam Mang Den Restaurant in March 2023.

“The project is actually just a local restaurant which serves dishes made from ginseng, organic vegetables, and herbs of the farm,” Vu said, adding that reservations must be placed in advance.

Vietnam-born former Vice Chancellor of Germany to join local startup talkshow

The “Startup Inspiration” talk show is set to take place at the University of Economics Ho Chi Minh City on April 26 and will bring over 1,000 young people and experts together to discuss the question: “Are opportunities found in a crisis?”

Philipp Rosler, honorary consul of Vietnam in Switzerland and Vietnam-born former Vice Chancellor of Germany, is slated to speak at the event.

The event will also feature a ceremony to honor and support local startups thanks to the partnership with businesses including VinaCapital, FE Credit, ACB Bank, No. 1, Thai Binh Group, Volvo, IDICo, Tin Nghia Corp., Saigontourist Group, and Thu Duc Golf Course.

In addition, the appraisal council will hold a vote to award one stand-out startup with VND100 million (US$4,300) funded by GIBC.

Within the framework of the event, the Tuoi Tre Golf Tournament for Startups will be held at Thu Duc Golf Course in Long Thanh My Ward, Thu Duc City in Ho Chi Minh City on April 21.

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Tieu Bac - Vu Thuy / Tuoi Tre News

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