Farm startups flourish in HCM City

10:21 | 11/08/2017 Science - Technology

(VEN) - The government has issued many policies to promote investment in agriculture, encouraging not only leading enterprises but also young people to launch agricultural startups.

Agricultural startups attract many investors

Attractive agricultural startups

An agricultural startup wave is washing over Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC). Nguyen Thi Hieu, head of the Dat Thep Lingzhi Mushroom Farm in Ho Chi Minh City’s Cu Chi District, says she founded her farm in 2013 and has invested in it about VND1.5 billion, using capital borrowed from the bank and her friends. Hieu says she has begun to earn a profit.

Although Le Minh Vuong, leader of the The He Uu Tu group, failed in his first startup project - cantaloupe cultivation - due to rains, and lost all of his initial investment capital, he didn’t give up. He tried a different project - vermicomposting production - and has finally succeeded.

The Startup Night event themed “Startup - opportunities and challenges in food processing and high-tech agriculture”, recently sponsored by the Saigon Innovation Hub (SIHUB) in Ho Chi Minh City, introduced a series of breakthrough products in farm produce processing and preservation, and unique products like wormwood incense and cricket snacks, among others.

According to the Center for Business Incubation of Agriculture High Technology of Ho Chi Minh City’s High-Tech Agricultural Park, agricultural startups are very advantageous for Ho Chi Minh City. The city’s agricultural sector has only met 30 percent of city residents’ demand for farm produce, while agricultural businesses now have easy access to new technologies. Leading agricultural technology centers in the city include the Biotechnology Center, the High-Tech Agricultural Park, and more. Many investors are interested in potential agricultural start-up projects in the city.

The city’s agricultural sector is accelerating restructuring and increasing its value added. Crops have yielded revenues of VND400 million to VND1 billion plus per hectare per year in the city.

For successful agricultural startup

Startup experts say market research and post-harvest preservation technology are crucial for an agricultural startup project. They advise startup initiators to think of providing what the market needs, be patient in realizing their feasible ideas, and invest in technology and create an appropriate business model at the same time.

With a 10-million-people market, Ho Chi Minh City has huge potential for agricultural development. The number of enterprises operating in agriculture remains small and should be increased.

The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Agriculture and Rural Development set a target of having about 1,500 agricultural businesses in the city by 2020.

Thao Duong