As Agriculture accounts for 16 per cent of Vietnam’s GDP, while labourers in the sector account for 42 per cent of the total workforce, the Vietnamese government had the foresight a few years back to spend more in terms of high-tech farming productions and also getting the local IT and the Tech industry to get more involved in the development of agritech startups.
As a result of that initiative, Vietnam has produced more than 38 successful agrtitech startups in the last 2 years, more than any Asia country.
Here we feature 3 detectable agritech startups that have been making waves with their solutions to problems in the farming industry in Vietnam.
Agritech startup MimosaTEk was founded in 2014 by Nguyen Khac Minh Tri after he had resigned from his position as the CEO of the Saigon Institute for Techniques and Technology. MimosaTEK can be described as a cloud-based system that lets farmers control and manage farms with the use of sensors that communicates through radiofrequency waves to monitor the environment, alerts on unfavourable environmental factors, crop progress monitoring, crop database, and remote irrigation execution through mobile phones. With such implementation, the system allows farmers to manage crops and farm plan based on collected data on daily environment and historical crop database.
The company offers to main components of its large farms’ management solutions: the sensor equipment to measure parameters and a smartphone app that helps to show water levels and providing advice to farmers on planting.
MimosaTEK was the winner of Vietnamese round of the Seedstar World Competition and has competed at the Seedstars Summit in Switzerland back in March 2017.
One of MimosaTEK’s users for more than a year said that it managed to save 10-15 per cent in total water and fertiliser used for eight hybrid muskmelon hybrid greenhouses. MimosaTEK’s application also allows just one worker to cover all the 2,100sqm greenhouses, instead of eight workers. With up to 70 per cent of the population in Vietnam lives in rural areas doing largely manual and experience-based farming practices, MimosaTEK said it seeks to have one or two per cent of the proportion use their service.
Based in Hanoi, Naturally Vietnam was founded by husband and wife team, Mai and Patrice Gautier. Mai grew up in Hanoi and quickly realised that there was no transparency in where food comes from and how certifications were mostly suspicious.
So Mai and her husband created Naturally Vietnam, a platform that provides traceable food products, sourced from six farms in the city’s Soc Son district. To make it happen, the startup even helped build the farms up from scratch by offering startup loans of over US$2,000.
Naturally Vietnam claims that the livestock farms are veterinarian-supervised, use chemical-free processes and are easily traceable in terms of food origins and processes.Naturally Vietnam provides an online grocery shop and within-24 hours delivery allowing customers to shop from a total of over 300 products of fresh fruit, meat, and poultry paid with direct bank transfer or cash-on-delivery.It puts the name of the farm they sourced from on the packaging and equips their staff with products knowledge to assist customers. The farms are also open for public visits.
Sero.ai is the AI-based startup that seeks to overcome erratic crop production problem by connecting farmers and agriculture experts through mobile internet. It works by tracking the plant’s health and detects pest diseases using pictures.
Described itself as a crop intelligence company, the company that was founded in 2016 collects in-field data throughout the entire growth stage with images and sensors to provide preventive recommendations via computer vision technology, and production insights via partnerships with farmers and exporters.
This AI based agritech is fast growth with lots of interests in both investors and also potential customers from many countries including the US and India.