The Dutch help Mekong Delta farmers grow citrus trees

06:00 | 09/09/2021 Cooperation

(VEN) - The Dutch government has recently implemented business cooperation programs in provinces and cities of the Mekong Delta region, focusing on water management, water technology for agriculture and logistics. It has also identified business opportunities based on public-private partnership models.

: Sustainable development of citrus fruit tree chains by Dutch enterprises in the Mekong Delta

Achievements

The bilateral cooperation and partnership between Vietnam and the Netherlands in the Mekong Delta has long since focused on specific and advantageous areas of the region. Among the six projects that have been signed and implemented, the most prominent is the five-year sustainable citrus fruit project between the Fruit Republic Company of the Netherlands, Can Tho University and Ben Luc District of Long An Province.

With a total investment of US$4 million, including US$2 million from the Dutch government and US$2 million from the Dutch private sector, this project aims to develop a more sustainable and efficient citrus fruit sector in the Mekong Delta, yielding higher profit for 150,000 small-scale citrus growers. Based on the development of a sustainable fruit tree value chain, farmers will sign contracts with an agriculture promotion system of the private sector and receive consulting services such as fertilizer use, disease-free seedlings and financial support.

A number of other related projects either completed or under implementation have yielded certain socioeconomic benefits, such as projects on improving the quality of tropical fruit in Vietnam, and developing the nursery industry and value chains resilient to climate change in the Mekong Delta. Also in the planning or implementation stages are projects on water storage in the Mekong Delta, conversion of agricultural waste to energy in Hau Giang Province and building the Cai Mep Ha logistics center and downstream port.

Sustainable business platform

According to Dutch Ambassador to Vietnam Elsbeth Akkerman, the formation of a sustainable business platform is a step forward to speed up implementation of commitments between the Netherlands and Vietnam on business development of the Mekong Delta region, focusing on areas of sustainable water management; agro-water technical solutions; connecting the private sector with research institutes; developing public-private partnerships; seeking sponsors and connecting them with the Sustainable Agriculture Transformation Program in the region.

Activities under the 2021 Action Program of the Vietnam-Netherlands Business Platform for the Mekong River Delta include exchanging and disseminating market and business information between Mekong Delta businesses and Dutch counterparts, and conducting a study on investment and business development in the region for Dutch companies and/or relevant potential projects.

Director of the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho Nguyen Phuong Lam said implementation of the action program will promote and expand trade and investment activities between Dutch partners and the Mekong Delta region, creating an important impetus for accelerated development of the Vietnamese economy.

As the third partner to jointly implement the business platform, Willemien Van Asselt, a representative of the Dutch Alliance for Priority Sectors in fields of water, logistics, agricultural products, vegetables, fruits and seed materials said the Dutch side had taken steps to increase Dutch-Vietnamese cooperation in the near future. These include creating a website to attract Dutch businesses interest in and learning about the Mekong Delta region and helping Dutch businesses learn more about Vietnam, especially the Mekong Delta region through international cooperation activities. Dutch ministries and sectors are also considering activities to enhance partnerships in Vietnam in the immediate future.

Thanh Thanh