Lam Dong, Netherlands Cooperate to Develop New Vegetable Varieties

NDO

Dutch plant breeding company Rijk Zwaan and Lam Dong provincial agriculture sector reached an agreement on June 8 to promote the research and development of new vegetable varieties in Da Lat city.

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It is part of the cooperation between businesses in the Netherlands and Lam Dong to develop sustainable agriculture. The signing is within the framework of the Dutch Day in Da Lat, featuring a series of event to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Under the new agreement, Rijk Zwaan will perform research and breeding activities to create new vegetable varieties. It will also share knowledge with local growers and other stakeholders to maximize the potential of its vegetable varieties and contribute to the overall improvement of the vegetable growing industry. The Dutch company also aims to help develop protected cropping and enable growers to reduce the use of agrochemicals through improved pest and disease resistance and using new growing techniques such as hydroponics.

Rijk Zwaan is investigating the possibilities of establishing a research and development center in Lam Dong that could contribute to the selection and development of new varieties which meet the needs of growers and consumers in Vietnam.

Lam Dong’s agricultural sector is set to join the evaluation of Rijk Zwaan’s new vegetable varieties research and make recommendations to ensure that the best vegetable varieties are put into production, as well as organizing seminars and training courses to transfer advanced cultivation techniques.

Lam Dong and Da Lat have been praised by the Dutch side as an agriculture hotspot, supplying vegetables and flowers to big cities in Vietnam. Since the arrival of foreign firms, Lam Dong has emerged as a leading example for hi-tech agriculture, with nearly 50,000 hectares under hi-tech agricultural methods which amounts to 18% of the province’s land for production.

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The same day, a talk show on sustainable food production in Vietnam was held in Da Lat under the theme “Where does our food come from? – Dutch solutions for sustainable food production in Vietnam”. The event offered a chance for Dutch and Vietnamese businesses to exchange experiences in applying Dutch technologies and techniques in the context of Vietnam to boost the training of human resources in the fruit and vegetable sector and promote solutions for the sustainable development of vegetables and flowers.

Earlier, the Dutch Day in Da Lat kicked off with a meeting between Vice Chairman of Lam Dong province People’s Committee, Pham S, and a delegation of Dutch companies operating in the province led by Consul General of the Netherlands, Carel Richter.

Vice Chairman Pham S stressed that Lam Dong approved a plan on sustainable agriculture production chains, aiming to have 90% of the chains’ products consumed through contracts. From the Dutch side, Richter informed Pham S about the progress of the R&D farm on vegetable breeding of the Rijk Zwaan company, as well as the development of Fresh Academy with its exclusive training on agricultural practices and agribusiness. As the world’s second biggest exporter of agrofood the Netherlands will continue to share its knowledge and experiences with Vietnam and with Lam Dong in particular. Both parties reaffirmed their commitment to working alongside each other for mutual benefits.

A range of activities will be held in Da Lat this weekend under the Dutch Day, such as a flash mob dance from Dutch Lady dairy company, a large bike ride carrying the logo and messages of the 45 years celebrations with about 100 participants creating an orange spring flowing around Xuan Huong lake, a pop-up museum with 16 masterpieces by Dutch painters, along with other activities like mini quiz, food tasting, and story-telling.

The next destinations of Dutch Days will be Hai Phong in September and Can Tho in November.

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