At the Science and Technology Day conference on May 18, 2023, Mr. Nguyen Manh Hung_ General Director of Nafoods Group shared “The journey of making passion fruit a billion-dollar crop” of the business. He emphasized the importance of science and technology in agricultural production, especially the hi-tech application, which requires constant improvement and innovation.
As one of the speakers at the Science and Technology Day conference, Mr. Nguyen Manh Hung, General Director of Nafoods Group shared a story that helped him bring passion fruit seedlings to Vietnam. He created his first startup in 1995 with the beverage industry, then switched to agriculture. After only five years, his company became the most modern factory in Central Vietnam to process pineapple for export. However, in 2000, the 150 billion VND factory “evaporated” due to the collapse of the four-family partnership. He began to approach scientists from Taiwan to bring passion fruit to Vietnam, establishing a research institute in Que Phong, near the Vietnam-Laos border. From zero, the company has become a chain of management of the planting areas, aiming to generate a billion dollar income from passion fruit.
Presently, Nafoods has 6 varieties of passion fruit, whose products have been exported to 70 countries around the world, surpassing South America, creating a value of 600 million USD. Mr. Hung said that passion fruit is a billion-dollar crop. Passion fruit farmers can earn 400-600 million VND per year. With more care, they can earn billions of VND in revenue, much more profitable than coffee.
To improve the production process, Nafoods pioneered digitizing the planting areas, and developing its own processing process. Mr. Hung shared that Nafoods applied technology to produce safe passion fruit, ensuring quality and quantity. Currently, the company’s processing line is 80% self-sufficient in technology.
“In agricultural production, science and technology are very important, especially the hi-tech application, which requires constant improvement and innovation. To date, Nafoods has been working with more than 10 professors, 15 PhD researchers, and multiple universities. Abroad, research institutes in Taiwan, Japan and Australia partner with the company”, Mr. Hung added.
More than 10 years of experimenting with passion fruit has stablized the planting areas, the processing process, the export market share, with export each year reaching more than 53 billion VND. “Technological advancements will deliver a miracle story for Vietnam. In the journey to achieve results like today, the company has reached several long-term goals. The current goal is that in the next five years, we will have export revenue of no less than 500 million USD,” said the General Director of Nafoods.
Nafoods Group has built a green – digitized – closed agricultural value chain, applying scientific and technology advances in farming, production, and planting area management with the Smartfarm system to ensure the quality of Vietnamese agriculture products by Nafoods are qualified to export to the most demanding markets.