Global Agriculture

Loofah fiber project awarded first place in the 9th Green Start-up Competition

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30 October 2023, VN: By bringing new economic value to agricultural byproducts such as loofah fiber, the project ‘Connecting People with Nature’ won first place in the 2023 Green Start-up Project Competition.

After two days of intense competition, the judging panel announced the winners of the first, second, and third places for the 9th Green Start-up Project Competition on the afternoon of October 29, 2023.

The total prize value amounts to 1,229,000,000 VND,  including 436,000,000 VND in cash divided among the nine main awards and 52 additional consultancy support packages.

The first place was awarded to the project “Connecting People with Nature”, which was developed in Dong Thap province by Do Dang Khoa, Do Manh Quan, and Le Na. The projected received a prize value of 150 million VND. This project originated in 2017 with the aim of creating new everyday products from natural and environmentally friendly materials, thereby generating new economic value from agricultural residues and by-products, such as loofah fiber. The project’s products have also received 3- and 4-star OCOP certifications.

Additionally, the project’s products have been showcased in the AEON Japan supermarket chain. The range of the project’s product also encompasses pet toys, kitchen cleaning products, bath sponge sets made from loofah fiber, which are steadily exported to Japan and South Korea.

In parallel with its successful commercial product development, the project “Connecting People with Nature” has provided a stable income for local farmers by organizing a coordinated production and consumption chain of raw materials.

“We plan to further expand our production scale in the near future, which can facilitate employment opportunities for local workers. On the other hand, we will focus on enhancing supply capabilities for the market because environmentally friendly products are currently a global trend,” shared Do Dang Khoa, a member of the project “Connecting People with Nature”.

The second place was awarded to the project “Developing Snakehead Fish Sausage” developed by Duong Thi Hong Chuyen in Dong Thap province, and the project “Production of Tay Ninh Salt in combination with regional specialties” developed by Nguyen Ngoc Son and Pham Thai Hoang in Tay Ninh province. Each of these prizes is valued at 80,000,000 VND.

The third place was awarded to the project “Thanh Dong Green Food Joint Stock Company” developed  by Hoang Khac Cung and in Dak Lak province; the project “Sustainable Artichoke Production” developed by Pham Huu Giau in Lam Dong province; the project “K Products – Japanese Sterilization Packaging Solutions” developed by Mai Thi Thu Trang, Tran Bao Khanh, and Nguyen Trung Hieu in Ba Ria – Vung Tau province. Each of these prize is valued at 50,000,000 VND.

Three consolation prizes were awarded to the following projects: “Preservation and Development of Indigenous Resources in Pac Nam Region” developed by Ca Thi Bay in Bac Kan province; “Processing of Mac Khen Pork” developed by Lang Thi Tho in Lang Son province; “Vicosap – A Journey to Renew Coconut Wrappings in Tra Vinh” developed by Lam Ngoc Tu, Tran Duy Linh, and Nguyen Thi Ngoc Thao in Tra Vinh province. Each consolation prize is valued at 30,000,000 VND.

Additionally, nine special awards were given, including: a consultancy package to finalize the trademark registration procedures in Vietnam by the Intellectual Property and Brand Development Center DIGISO; Agricultural Supplies Vouchers; Support for Ethnic Community Projects by Nam Duong Group; Innovation Award; Sustainable Green Agriculture by the Global Advisory Company; Non-Timber Forest Products Exchange Program (NTFP-EP) award for projects utilizing environmentally friendly indigenous products; Communication Effect Award; Brand Building and Trade Promotion Consultancy; Practical Standard Consultancy Award.

Amidst the award ceremony for the 2023 Green Start-up Project Competition, Ms. Pham Chi Lan, an esteemed economic expert and former advisor to the Government’s advisory board, who also served as a member of the judging panel, reflected on the quality of the finalist projects. According to her assessment, all entries presented therein were distinguished by their excellence and substantial meticulousness in project preparation.

According to Ms. Pham Chi Lan, this year’s start-up projects have emphasized various crucial aspects, including: utilizing local resources, focusing on environmentally friendly factors, applying technology and innovation in products, and paying attention to market factors.

“The majority of participants have recognized ongoing changes in the global landscape and observed trends that prompt self-adjustment in their projects to align with a lifestyle that harmonizes with nature, promotes ecological sustainability, prudent consumerism, and minimizes waste. Most importantly, the projects displayed a concern for the human factor, which encompasses consumers as well as the workforce within the system. Furthermore, several projects have exhibited concerns for consumer health in contrast with prevailing global consumption trends. This foresight and commitment are commendable,” noted Ms. Pham Chi Lan.

Despite the commendable aspects exhibited, Ms. Pham Chi Lan highlighted certain weaknesses within this year’s projects. According to her, it is crucial to reinforce financial management capacities as well as foster a comprehensive understanding of the concepts of “green,” “ecology,” “ISI,” prior to project implementation. Additionally, several projects lack a focus on their core fields and strengths.

“We are currently living in a VUCA (Volatility – Uncertainty – Complexity – Ambiguity) era. Hence, it is necessary to collectively transform our perspectives in response to the old VUCA and transition to a more positive VUCA, with new vision, understanding, elucidation, and acumen. Our efforts will help produce a more positive VUCA with a focus on individual success, personal wealth, and national development,” concluded Ms. Pham Chi Lan.

Also Read: Innovative Label Design: Revolutionizing Agrochemical Packaging in India

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