|Loc Troi delivers promise of sustainable value chain |
The recent success in producing F1 watermelon seeds from Japanese “parent” seeds attests to Loc Troi’s progress towards building a sustainable agricultural value chain in Vietnam.
The first batch of watermelon seeds produced by farmers in the Mekong Delta area of Tien Giang and Hau Giang were exported to Japan this late July.
With a humid tropical climate, Vietnam has vast advantages in developing agriculture and silviculture, including planting fruits. Local agricultural production, however, remains backwards. Therefore, creating high-quality seeds has proven a conundrum.
Preoccupied with these concerns, several years ago, Loc Troi has joined hands with its Japanese partner Hagihara Farm Co., Ltd. to produce watermelon seeds, covering diverse stages of research, testing, and technology transfer.
The cultivation model in Tien Giang and Hau Giang – a co-operation between Loc Troi and local farmers – was praised by the Japanese partner for fully meeting all criteria during the testing process.
Hagihara Farm has ordered Loc Troi to provide 100kg of seeds to produce seedless watermelons and 200kg of seeds to produce common watermelons. The Japanese partner imports F1 watermelon seeds for further export and growing watermelons commercially for sale in Japan. Additionally, the company is set to plant watermelon in Vietnam to export to other markets.
“This is not only good news for local farmers, but also opens great opportunities for Vietnam’s vegetable and fruit exports, especially as the industry is expected to become a spearhead in local agriculture,” said Huynh Van Thon, the chairman and general director of Loc Troi Group. “Our ambition is not only to produce and export seeds to Japan but also to craft a process of planting organic watermelons right in Vietnam.”
Before the successful trial production of F1 watermelon seeds, the group has established a good reputation in the market for producing high-quality rice varieties, including Loc Troi 1, Loc Troi 3, and Loc Troi 5 that are adaptable to alum-affected soil, providing high yield and good quality harvest.
For more than a year now, Loc Troi has engaged in sustainable rice production satisfying the international Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP) standards. This is the first standard recognised worldwide on sustainable rice production including criteria such as economic, social, and environmental factors, and eight issues helping to ensure sustainable rice production such as crop management, rational use of water resources, pest and nutrient management, post-harvest loss reduction, and sets of criteria on food hygiene assurance and assuring the health of workers and consumers.
Surmounting many hardships, Loc Troi’s five rice production areas measuring nearly 12,000 hectares are successfully producing rice products reaching SRP standards.
In a recent visit to Loc Troi’s rice fields, SRP co-ordinators and scientists from the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) expressed appreciation for Loc Troi’s achievements in helping local farmers produce rice in a sustainable manner based on SRP’s 46 criteria. The application of the SRP model helps farmers save 15 per cent of expenditure on pesticide, effectively protecting farmers’ health and the environment.
Loc Troi is Vietnam’s first company acquiring the SRP certification and 25 per cent of the group’s rice fields meet the export standards of the EU, a market where it will enjoy an advantage from the zero import tariff for the annual quota of 80,000 tonnes of rice after the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA) comes into force.
“Sustainable development is always the lodestar in our agricultural production value chain,” Huynh Van Thon noted.
Loc Troi has recently deployed a hi-tech project applying drones in agricultural cultivation. Currently, the model has been applied to rice and fruits. Besides strengthening the efficacy of disease resistance and protecting the grower’s health, the project also aims to collect crop information in order to enhance crop management. This is an absolutely essential step in pioneering advanced science and technology solutions to improve the efficiency of farmers.
Pursuing the mission of making farmers’ dreams come true and gradually elevating farmers’ standing and quality of life, Loc Troi aims to grow into a regional leader in agricultural services with a sustainable agricultural value chain and leading agricultural brands, from seeds, pesticides, and bio-organic products to food processing and post rice value-added products.