Stories of Vietnamese farmers back from South Korea in the first days of Spring: Return and completely change
“Banana King” and the multi-billion irrigation tech
Over six months after the trip to South Korea to learn about hi-tech agriculture, the life and work of many outstanding Vietnamese farmers have change considerably in the good way. For instance, Pham Nang Thanh, famously known as the Northern “Banana King”, has been continuously researching, renovating technology and process for production of clean bananas ever since he came back from South Korea. Recently, the Banana King is noticed for boldly applying multi-billion water saving irrigation technology to planting and caring process at his banana gardens.
Bananas are being preprocessed and packaged for import at Thuan Tam Thanh Ltd., Co. in Khoai Chau District (Hung Yen Province). Photo by T.Q.
Pham Nang Thanh’s Thuan Tam Thanh Ltd., Co. has expanded its banana farming scale to 6 provinces, cities with a total area of 250 ha. Applied hi-tech, clean banana farming process, 3T bananas of Thanh are always sold at good prices. Normally, bananas with unappealing look on the market only get to sold at the price of 5,000-6,000 dong/kg, in contrast his 3T bananas type 3 get to sold at 8,000 dong/kg. On the other hand, his type 1, 2 products satisfying international standards are popular in Russia, Japan and South Korea.
“Every year, on average, the company provides 1,500 tons of bananas to the domestic market via big supermarkets such as BigC, Vinmart, stores selling safe produce and large industrial parks. Moreover, my company also exports 1,500 tons of bananas to a few markets like Russia, South Korea and a few Middle East countries”, said Thanh.
Along with positive changes in work, life of outstanding farmers after the trip to South Korea also got a bit messed up as many of them have to become “reluctant” speakers.
Outstanding farmings during the exchange trip at some farms in South Korea. Photo by T.Q.
More than 6 months after the trip, Tran Quang Hien, an outstanding farmers in Ca Mau Province, has become the center of many talks and parties. “Ever since I came back to Vietnam, I has constantly received invitation to speak and share knowledge of people, culture and agricultural production in South Korea. There were days people still call at middle of the night to congratulate and ask me things making my head swim”, Hien shared.
Not only do they share the experience and knowledge of how to enrich yourselves learnt in South Korea, but Hien and his wife also proactively apply shrimp farming technology he got to learn to his family’s farm. “Our country’s shrimps are very popular among South Korean consumers. However, in order for the export to go more smoothly and steady, my wife and me also encourage people to produce safe and antibiotic-free shrimps with us”, said him.
Also a member of the delegation to South Korea, the life of Cao Xuan Lang, an outstanding farmers in Bac Kan Provinces, is now spotted many changes. Lang shared that up to this point, he has received many invitations to be speaker at classrooms, seminars, however due to his business, he only managed to come to almost a dozen classes of vocational training for farmers in some communes and districts of Bac Kan Province.
“I feel very happy and proud that I have the chance to share all the knowledge and experience of modern production I learned back in South Korea to people, this would encourage them to not only change their old production habits, but also emulate to become a good production farmer to have the opportunity to go abroad just like me”, Lang stated.
Although he is very proud of the popularity he gained after the trip, the one thing he most proud of is that he himself is applying all knowledge he learned to his family’s and cooperative’s production.
“After the trip, my son (Director of Dai Ha Cooperative) and I called a meeting to discuss the organizational restructuring and changes in production and business. Up to now, we managed to get two certificates of food hygiene and safety for organges and tangerines, two main products of Dai Ha Cooperative. By which, our brand and quality are firmly announced to consumers nationwide”, Lang said.
Lang shared that currently his cooperative was studying to bring in new produce distribution channels from South Korea starting from farms and then expanding to preprocessing facilities owned by cooperatives.
“We will gradually form Center for produce preprocessing, classification and packaging following certain standards. Then it will be two distribution channels which are wholesale market and distribution center of the cooperative”, Lang assured.